Gophers’ soccer team goes 1-1 in Wildcat Classic

After losing Friday, Minnesota responded Sunday with a 1-0 win over Florida Atlantic.

Adam Fink

Competing for a full 90 minutes.

Avoiding too many mental lapses.

Consistency.

Minnesota soccer coach Barbara Wickstrand stressed those themes to the Gophers before traveling to Evanston, Ill., for the Wildcats Classic over the weekend.

For Friday’s game, the Gophers did not adhere to their coach’s wish and lost 3-1 to Ohio. Wickstrand said Minnesota only played well in the second half and it was a game the team should have won.

To Wickstrand’s delight, Minnesota responded Sunday with a 1-0 win over Florida Atlantic (3-2) by generating offensive chances and playing solid defense.

“We were better than this team,” Wickstrand said of the Eagles. “Anything less than a win would have been disappointing.

“We played hard and we went to battle with each other.”

Freshman Haley Lentsch scored the only goal of the game against Florida Atlantic, finding the back of the net halfway through the first stanza off a missed shot. It was Lentsch’s fourth goal of the season in as many games.

“I was there for the rebound,” Lentsch said.

In winning, Minnesota (2-1-1) showed it would not let Friday’s loss linger in the locker room or on the field.

“We are fighters,” captain Amanda McMahon said. “We’re not going to let one loss get us down or affect us in the next game.”

In Friday’s game, Ohio jumped on the board only 2:58 into the game on Tiffany Horvath’s goal.

Minnesota answered two minutes later when Lentsch scored her third goal of the season. On the play, sophomore Becky Dellaria fired to Lentsch across the goaltending box, and Lentsch put it in the net.

Following the goal, Minnesota was not able to muster any consistent offensive pressure or solve Bobcats goaltender Melissa Parra.

“We didn’t play together,” Wickstrand said. “The second half was much better but it was still wasn’t the level we want it at. It’s disappointing.”

In the final 45 minutes, Minnesota outshot Ohio 7-4 but was outscored 2-0. Horvath notched her second goal of the game in the 31st minute to break the tie.

In addition, Minnesota controlled the ball for most of the half, to no avail.

“We had possession,” McMahon said. We just didn’t do anything with it.”

Minnesota goalie Karli Kopietz made three saves in the game.

“I hope the team can respond after a game like this,” Wickstrand said.

Sunday’s contest proved to the Gophers’ fourth-year coach that the team could.

Northwestern wins

Big Ten rival Northwestern earned its first win of the season in a 1-0 double-overtime victory over Florida Atlantic on Friday.

Wickstrand used the opportunity to scout the Wildcats. The Gophers face Northwestern on Oct. 3 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul.

“They looked pretty composed,” Wickstrand said.

Online auction

University intercollegiate athletics will be sponsoring monthly online auctions on gopherports.com. All proceeds will provide scholarship support for Gophers student-athletes. New items will be posted on the fifth of each month through May.

Log on to www.gophersports.com and click on the “online auction” icon to register, view and bid on auction items each month.

Some items for bid in the September online auction include:

ï A Leroy Neiman Minnesota vs. Iowa football print

ï Gopher football VIP ticket packages

ï Gopher men’s and women’s hockey season tickets

ï Mariucci Arena clubroom passes

ï An autographed soccer ball

ï Women’s volleyball associate coach package

Bidding for this month’s auction began Friday and closes Sept. 15 at 4 p.m.