Minnesota splits weekend in Michigan

The Gophers were upset by Michigan State but defeated No. 13 Michigan.

Minnesota defender Becca Roberts steals the ball from Louisiana State on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.

Chelsea Gortmaker

Minnesota defender Becca Roberts steals the ball from Louisiana State on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.

Jace Frederick

The Gophers were expected to split this weekend in Michigan — just not the way Minnesota managed to do it.

After a disappointing 3-0 loss to Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., on Friday, the Gophers rebounded to beat No. 13 Michigan 1-0 in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Sunday. 

The Gophers’ upset helped them avoid an 0-3 start in Big Ten play.

“To get the first Big Ten win of the season on the road at Michigan is absolutely huge for the program,” Gophers head coach Stefanie Golan said.

Junior midfielder Olivia Schultz provided the game’s lone score in the 38th minute off a corner kick, sending a strike through high traffic.

“In a scenario like that, a lot of kids panic,” Golan said. “Olivia took a good touch to clean it up and then buried it.”

Michigan outshot the Gophers 18-6 and had twice the number of corner kicks, but Minnesota capitalized on its chances.

“[The win] was all about opportunity,” Golan said. “We played hard, and we played together, and that’s what ground out the win for us.”

Gophers freshman goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs was brilliant in net in both outings. She recorded 14 saves on the weekend, including five in Sunday’s shutout victory. 

The win came two days after Minnesota’s surprising loss to Michigan State.

The Spartans, who finished last season in a tie for last in the conference, were outshot by the Gophers 21-13 and committed 12 offside infractions to Minnesota’s zero. Still, they rode two first-half goals to victory.

Michigan State keeper Courtney Clem was huge in net and recorded 12 saves in the shutout. 

“We’d had a couple of bumps on the road with Indiana and Michigan State, where we didn’t play well,” Golan said.

Sunday’s upset win seemed to overshadow Friday’s lackluster performance. Schultz said the win over Michigan was important for her squad.

“It was a really, really needed win,” Schultz said. “I think it definitely put a statement … that we are here, in the Big Ten, and we’re ready to go.”

The Gophers will return home for their first home conference match of the season Friday against Ohio State.