Minnesota nets seven goals to defeat Michigan State

April Bockin scored one goal and had four assists in the victory.

Gophers forward Sydney Squires eyes the ball as Michigan midfielder Rubina Veerakone dribbles down the field on Thursday, Sept. 21 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul.

Jack Rodgers

Gophers forward Sydney Squires eyes the ball as Michigan midfielder Rubina Veerakone dribbles down the field on Thursday, Sept. 21 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul.

Erik Nelson

Forward Sydney Squires said she and forward April Bockin play well together, and that showed on Sunday.

Squires had two goals and an assist and Bockin added one goal and four assists in Minnesota’s 7-1 win over Michigan State (4-7-0) on Sunday at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul. Squires scored two goals in the first half and assisted on Bockin’s first goal of the season in the 56th minute.

“Her club team wasn’t the greatest,” Squires said. “She was the entire team. She would dribble through our entire team, and it would be a tie game just because of her. Once I didn’t have to worry about her on the other team, I was super pumped.”

Bockin’s goal came in the second of the blowout win. Her four assists in a single game ties a school record held by former Minnesota forward Simone Kolander. Bockin said she was pleased Minnesota scored early.

“Our team has struggled with that a little bit this year,” Bockin said. “To put a couple away in the first half really set the tone for the second half.”

Bockin has mutual respect for Squires, and said playing with her is fun.

“She’s very dynamic up top and makes it easy to play with her,” Bockin said. “I’ve known her for a while, so that connection between us has grown over the years.”

Head coach Stefanie Golan said Bockin’s performance was awesome. 

“She has been on fire,” Golan said. “She’s involved in more goals that she’s not. Even if it’s not the first assist, she’s involved in some capacity throughout the course of the season. She’s a super dynamic attacking player who puts people on their heels. Today, she made them pay.”

In the first half, Minnesota outscored Michigan State 3-0. After Squires scored twice, midfielder Athena Kuehn scored her first collegiate goal in the 39th minute. Makenzie Langdok earned her first collegiate assist on the goal.

In the second half, Minnesota outscored Michigan State 4-1. Bockin, forward Julianna Gernes, and midfielders Emily Heslin and Celina Nummerdor, all netted goals to help secure the blowout. Nummerdor also scored the first goal of her collegiate career. The last time at least six different Minnesota players scored goals was on Sept. 13, 2015, in a 9-1 win against Nebraska-Omaha.

Golan said she was excited to see two Minnesota freshmen score for the first time.

“It’s always good for freshmen to lift the lid, get that first one and be able to breathe a little bit,” Golan said. “Both [goals] were solid finishes.”

Goalkeeper Kailee Sharp earned her third victory of the season. Goalkeeper Maddie Nielsen replaced her in the second half when the team was up 5-0. Nielsen allowed Michigan State’s only goal when forward Alexandra Thomas scored in the 67th minute.

Minnesota’s next game is on Friday at 6 p.m. against Rutgers (8-0-2) in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers is 6-0-0 at home this season, while Minnesota has not won a game on the road. Squires thinks Minnesota can use the momentum from this win to help them on Friday.

“Hopefully, we will score a lot of goals,” she said. “That would be ideal.”