Molly Fiedler helps high-octane offense with her passing

The junior midfielder has scored one goal and five assists this season.

Junior midfielder Molly Fiedler kicks the ball during the Gophers' match against Utah State at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Sept. 8.

Easton Green

Junior midfielder Molly Fiedler kicks the ball during the Gophers’ match against Utah State at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Sept. 8.

Erik Nelson

For midfielder Molly Fiedler, it’s not about putting the ball in the net herself, it’s about helping other players succeed.

Fiedler has played 59 games over the course of her Minnesota career. Her first career goal came on Oct. 1 when Minnesota defeated Maryland 3-1. She has 15 career assists, including five this season.

“She’s a fun-loving person,” midfielder Emily Heslin said. “She’ll do whatever it takes to help the team win.”

Heslin, Minnesota’s co-captain, said Fiedler brings a positive attitude to the team and contributes both offensively and defensively.

Fiedler started all 22 games of her freshman season in 2015. She recorded three assists and had 13 shots. Five of those shots were on goal. In 2016, Fiedler started in all of Minnesota’s 23 games. She recorded seven assists and 16 shots. Seven of those shots were on goal.

Head coach Stefanie Golan said Fiedler is super competitive and has high expectations for herself.

“[Fiedler] is constantly trying to lead by example. She’s always striving to bring out the best in the players around her as well,” Golan said.

Before coming to the University of Minnesota in 2015, Fiedler played both soccer and basketball in high school. Fiedler said she fell in love with soccer since her parents, who both played soccer in college, introduced her to the sport when she was young. 

The junior eventually chose the sport her parents played in college.

“I think it’s been a passion of mine,” Fiedler said. “I’ve always loved being around the ball.”

Golan said Fiedler’s foundation has been defense, but Fiedler has increased her impact offensively in the last two seasons.

“She can cover a tremendous amount of ground very quickly. She frequently puts [opposing] players under immediate pressure,” Golan said. “On the attacking side, she out-transitions pretty much every midfield that we play against. She does a great job running at defenses.”

Fiedler said one thing that motivates her to do well on the field is her teammates. 

“I want to play well for my teammates,” she said. “I want to do well for them.”

Golan said when Fiedler was a freshman, she was focused on herself and whether she was doing well or not. Now, Golan said Fiedler sets a tone for the rest of the team through her work ethic.

“Younger players look up to her,” Golan said. “They ask her questions, and she’s relaying the knowledge that she’s gained over her first three years to the players around her.”

Heslin thinks Fiedler could be one of Minnesota’s captains next season. Minnesota’s other captain, Tori Burnett, is a senior and will graduate this spring.

“I absolutely think she has those qualities in her,” Heslin said.