Top scorer asks for release, will transfer

Sophomore forward Taylor Uhl scored 21 of the Gophers’ 44 goals last season.

Minnesota forward Taylor Uhl leads the Gophers with 26 points through eleven games.

Anthony Kwan, Daily File Photo

Minnesota forward Taylor Uhl leads the Gophers with 26 points through eleven games.

Charlie Armitz

Gophers soccer star Taylor Uhl has asked for a release from her scholarship and will transfer, the team confirmed Tuesday.

The sophomore forward was one of the top players in the nation. She had 21 of the Gophers’ 44 goals and led the Big Ten in points last season. She was the Gophers’ top goal- and point-scorer in both 2011 and 2012.

“I’ll always be a Gopher fan at heart,” Uhl posted to her Twitter account Tuesday afternoon. “Thanks to everyone at the U who has helped me in my time here. Trusting God through this new journey.”

Uhl could not be reached for comment, and the team did not say why she is leaving.

Uhl will likely be eligible to play at another Division I school next season because this is her first transfer. As a soccer athlete, she has fewer transfer restrictions per NCAA rules than athletes in football, men’s basketball, baseball and men’s hockey, who usually have to sit out a year before playing for their new school.

“I respect and understand Taylor’s decision to transfer,” head coach Stefanie Golan said in the release. “We wish her the best as she continues her education and athletic career elsewhere.”

Minnesota missed the NCAA tournament in both of Uhl’s seasons after finishing in the middle of the Big Ten. The Gophers showed improvement last season, Golan’s first with the team, but lost on penalty kicks in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.

Golan replaced Mikki Denney Wright, who resigned unexpectedly last May as head coach, citing family reasons. Denney Wright recruited Uhl to play at Minnesota.

Uhl was a top recruit out of Eden Prairie High School, where she earned numerous accolades. She was named Minnesota’s Ms. Soccer and the Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year her senior season, when she led Eden Prairie to a state championship.

She earned many more awards with the Gophers, including Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2011.