Gophers get the sweep and sole possession of second place

The Minnesota womenâÄôs soccer team offered another strong showing this weekend, fighting through 36-degree temperatures, a blustering wind and snow to secure a series sweep. The Gophers (17-2-0 Overall, 7-2-0 Big Ten) ousted Wisconsin on Friday night 2-1. The victory put an end to the BadgersâÄô (9-8-1, 3-6-1) recent three-game win streak. The Gophers got on the board early Friday with a goal from Kaitlin Wagner in the 25th minute. However WagnerâÄôs fifth goal of the season was answered less than two minutes later by Badgers midfielder Leigh Williams. Minnesota was able to pull ahead midway through the second half with a goal from Clare Grimwood . The goal was her second of the season and her second game-winner. The bitter Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry was evident on the field Friday, with eight yellow cards âÄì three for Minnesota and five for the Badgers âÄì rounding out a physical matchup. Playing through harsh, early-winter weather Sunday, the Gophers kept pressure on Northwestern, earning six shots in the first half and several tense opportunities. Freshman forward Tamara Strahota scored on a breakaway to put the Gophers on the board midway through the second half. Strahota met Carolyn Edwards and snuck the ball past the Wildcats goaltender to tally her fourth goal of the season. âÄúMy face was numb my legs were numb. Everyone was numb,âÄù Strahota said. âÄúWe just had to play through it. We all fought hard just to get the ball in the back of the net.âÄù Grimwood was a dominant force for the Gophers offense Sunday as well. She scored MinnesotaâÄôs second goal of the game in the 77th minute, solidifying the victory for the Gophers. Finding rhythm was difficult Sunday, Grimwood said, with gusts of up to 27 miles per hour being difficult to cope with. âÄúThis is one of those games where you have all of these elements and variables fighting against you,âÄù she said. Gophers head coach Mikki Denney Wright said the game was yet another hard-fought victory for the team. âÄú(In the first half) we had great opportunities. We just couldnâÄôt put it in the back of the net,âÄù she said. âÄúOnce we finished that goal with Tam (Strahota) you could feel everything open up.âÄù GrimwoodâÄôs performance this weekend was an outstanding contribution. Though a strong player, Grimwood has been absent from the teamâÄôs scoring statistics the past few weeks. However, she was able to end the weekend with a solid five points. âÄúShe just stepped it up to a whole new level,âÄù Denney Wright said. Grimwood said she has only been concerned with winning recently, and earning recognition has been secondary. âÄúItâÄôs nice to finally be getting some points,âÄù she said. The Gophers now stand alone at second-place in the Big Ten, with the opportunity to take the lead next weekend against Iowa.