Uhl nets second hat trick as Gophers split Minnesota Gold Classic

The Gophers rebounded from Friday’s loss with a 3-0 win Sunday.

Minnesota forward Taylor Uhl intercepts a pass intended for DePaul midfielder Rebekah Roller at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Sunday.

Daniel Worku

Minnesota forward Taylor Uhl intercepts a pass intended for DePaul midfielder Rebekah Roller at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Sunday.

Betsy Helfand

Taylor Uhl’s offensive prowess was on display once again Sunday for the Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium crowd.

The Gophers sophomore forward recorded her second hat trick of the season and the fourth of her career as Minnesota defeated DePaul 3-0 in its second game of the Minnesota Gold Classic.

Sunday’s win came after a 1-0 overtime loss Friday against No. 20 San Diego State.

“We always talk about how hard the Sunday games are, especially after you give up a game on Friday night,” head coach Stefanie Golan said. “The girls came out, and I thought they focused in well.”

Senior captain Olivia Bagnall echoed Golan’s statement about Friday’s game, which she called “frustrating” and said that the team “has been doing well this season bouncing back.”

Minnesota has followed all three of its losses this season with a win.

Uhl’s first goal came at the 16:38 mark in the first half. Allie Phillips crossed the ball to Katie Thyken, who flipped it back before Uhl buried the ball in the back of the net.

Uhl said that the team had worked on crossing and finishing in practice Saturday.

Her second goal came unassisted off a rebound in the game’s 55th minute.

The final goal of the hat trick came in the 76th minute — a pass through DePaul’s defense, which hit Uhl on the run, assisted by Phillips.

“Taylor is awesome. She’s a big-time player, and big-time players come up in big-time moments,” Golan said. “For her to score a hat trick against a Big East team … It’s huge for the team. It’s huge for Taylor as well.”

Golan said she thinks the team builds well around Uhl and that Thyken “has a great eye for what Taylor is going to do.” She said Phillips and Uhl also connect well together.

Uhl’s first hat trick of the season came in a 7-0 win against Bowling Green on Aug. 30. Her four career hat tricks are a school record.

Uhl was named a co-offensive MVP to the All-Tournament team for the Minnesota Gold Classic. Bagnall and MacKenzie Misel were also named to the team.

The win improved the Gophers’ nonconference record to 5-3-0 heading into Big Ten play.

Friday’s game looked like Minnesota’s for the taking, but the Gophers were unable to close out the game, despite an 18-12 shot advantage.

“We’re pretty disappointed because we felt like we played well enough to win,” Golan said Friday. “We put a lot of pressure on their goal, and we just didn’t finish our opportunities.”

San Diego State’s Megan Jurado scored the only goal of the game a minute into overtime.

“Overall I thought we had the better of the play in the game,” Golan said Friday. “In the first half [San Diego State] made nine subs — we really put them under a lot of pressure, [which] they weren’t used to.”

Minnesota is now 1-2-0 this season against ranked opponents.

“The three games that we lost — all of them we were in position to win against really, really good teams,” Golan said, “so we feel good about the nonconference portion of the season.”

The Gophers will begin Big Ten play next Sunday at Ohio State.

Injury updates

– Taylor Wodnick left Sunday’s game in the second half with an injury. She limped off the field under her own power. Golan said Wodnick will not practice Monday. Then the team will have two days off before it reassesses the situation Thursday.

– Golan confirmed Sunday that redshirt junior forward Steph Brandt will miss the rest of the season after suffering an injury to her lower leg in a game earlier this season.

– Forward Nicole Baier returned from an injury to play her first game of the season Sunday. Baier played for 41 minutes.

 

-Drew Claussen contributed to this report.