July 2012 Archives

USA Hockey today announced the 79 players selected to participate in the 2012 USA Hockey Women's National Festival, which will take place Aug. 5-13 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. The Over-18 roster includes 51 players, including Gophers Rachael Bona, Megan Bozek, Hannah Brandt, Sarah Erickson, Milica McMillen, Gigi Marvin, Rachel Ramsey, Anne Schleper, Lee Stecklein, and Emily West.

Among the players with Gopher ties are four alumnae (Sarah Erickson, Gigi Marvin, Anne Schleper and Emily West), three Gophers who will be returning letterwinners this fall (Rachael Bona, Megan Bozek and Rachel Ramsey), and three incoming freshmen (Hannah Brandt, Milica McMillen and Lee Stecklein).

Attending the USA Hockey Women's National Festival are 21 of the 23 members of the U.S. Women's National Team that turned in a silver-medal performance at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship in Burlington, Vermont. Gopher players who were on the 2012 World Championships team include Megan Bozek, Anne Schleper and Gigi Marvin.

The Festival will culminate with the selection of teams to represent the United States in a U18 series vs. Canada in Blaine and a U22 series vs. Canada in Calgary, Alberta. Both events will include three games between the two nations to be staged from Aug. 16-19.

In addition to the nine Gopher players on the roster, former Minnesota head coach Laura Halldorson and Gopher assistant coach Joel Johnson will each serve as an assistant coach for USA Hockey at the summer festival.

For the complete over-18 roster, click here.
Follow Golden Gopher Football:    
For the second straight year, University of Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill has announced that certain fall camp practices will be open to the public. 

The Gophers open camp on Aug. 4 and the team's first seven practices will be open to the public, along with a scrimmage at TCF Bank Stadium on Aug. 10.

Minnesota Football Preseason Practices Open To The Public
August 4, 10:25 a.m. - Practice #1, Gibson-Nagurski Complex
August 5, 10:25 a.m. - Practice #2, Gibson-Nagurski Complex
August 6, 10:25 a.m. - Practice #3, Gibson-Nagurski Complex
August 7, 10:25 a.m. - Practice #4, Gibson-Nagurski Complex
August 8, 10:25 a.m. - Practice #5, Gibson-Nagurski Complex
August 9, 9:10 a.m./4:40 p.m. - Practice #6/#7, Gibson-Nagurski Complex
August 10, 10:25 a.m. - Practice #8 (Scrimmage), TCF Bank Stadium

All dates, times and locations are subject to change.

Blog: Koch and Skrove Go Dutch (July 28)

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Photo Gallery

We can't believe that it will be two months this Saturday! We know it has been awhile since we have blogged, so we thought we would update you guys on a few of the fun things we have done since we went to Paris.

We are on break from ball they call it the "stop". Last weekend, we played our last two games against one of the teams in the top of our class, the Amsterdam Pirates. We got rained out on Saturday, so we played them on Sunday (felt like we were at school again waiting out the rain). The games were close, but we ended up losing them both. The games will pick up again on August 18th. They have this stop period because it is a busy time with everyone going on holiday (vacation). We will still have practice, and if we are not traveling we will go to those.

Two of our teammates took us to Giethoorn a few weeks ago. It is a very unique village because it is surrounded by canals and a lake. It has about 2,620 inhabitants and is unique with its bridges and waterways. To paint a picture for you it is called "The Venice" of Holland because of the canals, characteristic wooden bridges, and the little red-covered farm houses. For the people living in the houses on the canals, they get to and from town by their boats. We took a boat tour and rented what they call a "whisper boat". These are open, little boats with a silent motor which is electrical driven by a battery, hence the name whisper boats. The tour was cool, we got to drive our own boat and take our time enjoying the beautiful nature scenery, bridges, and houses.

We moved again...twice actually since we last blogged. We spent this last week at a teammate's home in Huizen (the city where our field is) while her and her family were on holiday. It was fun to have our own place again and this time we had pets! Not our dogs that we are used to and miss but two bunnies! Dannie turned into the keeper of the bunnies because she tends to wake up way before I do (Alissa), so when she woke up in the morning she gave them food and water. Meanwhile, I could sleep all day, and Dannie has energy and is awake at what I feel like is 5 a.m., when it is really around 9 or 10.

A perk of living back in Huizen was the fact that we got gym memberships from our coach so we have been going to the gym the past 3 weeks. Mind you that Coach Y has us programmed on what and how to lift, so we do not look like typical Dutch girls! But let's face it, we haven't looked like that since we got here. We enjoy doing some light lifts and cardio in the mornings.

This past weekend we enjoyed a fun "cabin" weekend. We went to an island called Terschelling with two of our teammates and two of our friends from the baseball team at our club. We decided to spend our first weekend off enjoying the sun and relaxing. It was a good time, and we finally had some nice weather for a few days in a row! The sun was out all weekend, and we took full advantage of it. The weekend started nice and early on Friday morning. Since it is holiday, the ferries were filling up fast, and we had to take one at 6:30 a.m., which meant up and driving to the harbor at 4:30 a.m. We were all dragging a little bit, but after eating breakfast and drinking much needed coffee and tea, we all started to wake up and have some energy. That afternoon we set out on a walk to find the beach, obviously the ocean is all around us, but we (accidentally) chose the longest possible walk to find the beach on the other side of the island. It was fun though, because we were on bike and walking paths through the woods. Our feet were a little sore, and we may have taken a 10 minute taxi ride back to our cabin after walking 10km, which is 6.2 miles. We didn't really prepare for that long of a walk, and we were in flip-flops so the taxi was looking really good after hanging out at the beach. Saturday, we all rented bikes and rode around the entire island and went to the beach again. That night, we made a really good dinner and had a bunch of different meats and some veggies and cooked them hibachi style. It was really good and a fun experience.

After getting back from the cabin on Sunday afternoon we moved again. We are living in Amsterdam for the next four days before we head off on our cruise! We are so excited. Friday morning, we will head to the airport and fly to Malaga, Spain. There we will be meeting my parents and board our floating home for seven days and eight nights. We will definitely have a long blog with plenty of pictures from our trip when we get back, showing and telling you all where we stopped and what we did on our boat! Dannie has never been on a cruise before, so she can't wait to leave. She got a little sea sick on the ferry, but I have assured her that the cruise boat is a lot different.

Sorry it is a short post this time, but we will definitely have plenty to say next time


Dannie and Alissa

Blog: Looking Back on 20 Years of Soccer - 2001

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As crazy as it seems, the upcoming 2012 season will be the University of Minnesota's 20th year of having a women's soccer program. To pay tribute to the past 19 seasons, we will take a look back in time this summer and highlight the evolution of Gopher soccer year-by-year. The weekly updates will help us commemorate all the great moments in program history as we head into the highly-anticipated 2012 season, which kicks off August 17 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium against NCAA College Cup participant Florida State.

Today's installment takes us to 2001, which was a season where Minnesota struggled to put the ball in the back of the net, and for the second-straight season, the Golden Gophers finished under .500.

Schedule/Results l Roster l Statistics 

The Maroon & Gold began the 2001 season on a positive note with a 1-0 victory over Xavier on the road. Both teams were scoreless through the first half, but Minnesota's Rachael Roth put the ball in at the 85-minute mark.

The Gophers weren't as fortunate in the next three matches as they were shutout by Cincinnati, Brigham Young and St. Mary's.

Minnesota would recuperate over the next week and then squeeze out a victory in their first Big Ten Conference of the year at Ohio State. The Golden Gophers, who struggled to generate offensive opportunities all season, notched the lone goal of the match in the 64th minute when senior Allison Rackley found the back of the net. Despite being outshot, 21-1, Minnesota pulled out the triumph again the Buckeyes.

After dropping the next game to Penn State, 4-0, the Gophers returned home to host Illinois and snag a 2-0 win. Roth was credited with both goals as she scored one in each period.

The Maroon & Gold would continue to struggle scoring goals as they dropped their next four matches, losing to Iowa, Indiana, Purdue and Northwestern. In those four games, Minnesota tallied two goals while their opponents combined for nine.

Minnesota would snap the losing streak on the road as they trumped border-rival Wisconsin 2-1 in overtime. The Badgers would get on the board first in the 56th minute, but the Gophers rallied as Roth equalized the game in the 74th minute. As the first overtime came close to expiring, Samantha Meyers was the hero as she dribbled a shot in from six yards out to snap the losing streak.

Despite having an energetic, overtime win over Wisconsin, Minnesota would falter in their next four matches as they were shutout in four-straight games.

With one game remaining, the Gophers wanted to end the season on a high note as the hosted Iowa State, and that is what they did as they defeated the Cyclones 1-0 in overtime. Again, Roth came up with the heroics as she notched the game winner in the 112th minute.

The win ended Minnesota's season with a 5-12-0 overall record and 3-7-0 mark in the Big Ten. All in all, the Gophers only scored nine goals on the season, which was and is still the lowest scoring season in program history.

Matchups Set for Mariucci Classic

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2012-13 Schedule

Matchups for this year's Dec. 29-30 Mariucci Classic have been set.

The tournament, which traditionally features a championship game on the second day of competition, will step away from that format this year.

Defending national champion Boston College will face 2012 NCAA Frozen Four host Alabama in Huntsville in the early game on Saturday, Dec. 29. The Gophers will then face Air Force in the night game. That game will feature a father-son matchup, as Minnesota junior forward Tom Serratore will face his father, Frank, who is the head coach at Air Force.

On Sunday, Dec. 30, Air Force will then face Alabama in Huntsville in the afternoon game, while Minnesota will close this year's Mariucci Classic with a 2012 Frozen Four rematch against Boston College. The Eagles won that game 6-1 in Tampa, Fla.

Since all four matchups are predetermined, the tournament champion will be the team with the best overall record. In the event of teams having an identical record the first tiebreaker will be goal differential. The second tiebreaker is the fewest amount of goals allowed.

This is not the first time that this tournament format will be used for the Mariucci Classic, as the 2010 edition featured the same setup. That year, the format was used to avoid having WCHA members Minnesota and Bemidji State facing each other.

The Gophers are seeking their first Mariucci Classic championship since 2008. Northern Michigan won the tournament in 2009, while Bemidji State won in 2010 and Northeastern claimed victory in 2011.

Start times for individual games for this year's tournament will be announced in the future.
Go Gophers! Dan O'Brien
Go Gophers!
Dan O'Brien will be inducted into the Concordia University Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 5, 2012.
Go Gophers!
Release courtesy of Concordia University

Former Concordia University football coach and athletics director and current Minnesota director of football operations Dan O'Brien is a member of the Concordia Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2012.

O'Brien and three other members of the class will be inducted at the Hall of Fame banquet on Friday, October 5, 2012 during Homecoming weekend. The four members represent the 11th induction class dating back to 1992 and brings the total to 95 members.

O'Brien's greatest achievement in his tenure at Concordia was spearheading the move from NAIA to NCAA Division II and the NSIC in 1999. The Winthrop, Minn.-native joined Concordia as an assistant football coach in 1995 and just a few years later would become head football coach and athletics director.

His two years as head coach spanned the final season of the Comet-era in the Upper Midwest (UMAC) Conference in 1998 and the inaugural season of the Division II-era in 1999. He led the Golden Bears to their first-ever NCAA and NSIC football victories over the University of Minnesota Morris (43-21) and University of Minnesota Duluth (35-27).

As director of athletics from 1997 to 2002, O'Brien hired his replacement football coach, Shannon Currier, who in turn led the Golden Bears to a 2003 NSIC Championship and a Mineral Water Bowl appearance in the school's first-ever postseason bowl game. He presided over an era that played a critical role in developing the foundation for what it is today. During the transition, O'Brien helped spearhead the creation of the Golden Bear mascot and logo along with the University's first athletic booster club, at the time coined as the Golden Bear Club (now known as the C-Club). He was involved in the community through volunteering with HOSTS (Help One Student to Succeed) at Hancock Elementary School. Within one academic year of his leadership, coaches and student-athletes volunteered several thousand hours to help at-risk students improve their reading skills.

In addition to hiring his replacement on the football field which led to an NSIC Championship, O'Brien also hired Geoff Carlston to run the volleyball program. Carlston turned a losing Concordia program into an NSIC contender before moving up to the NCAA Division I level at Ohio University. There, he turned Ohio into a perennial NCAA Tournament force before moving on to become head coach at Ohio State University where he remains today. One of Carlston's assistants while O'Brien was at the helm of the athletic department was Brady Starkey, who was hired to replace Carlston and continued the program's momentum by leading the Golden Bears to a record-setting five consecutive NCAA Championships.

Four of O'Brien's hires are still thriving at Concordia 10 years after he's moved on: head baseball coach Mark "Lunch" McKenzie, head women's basketball coach Paul Fessler, head athletic trainer Ted Trzynka, and former softball coach and current athletic director Tom Rubbelke. All three coaches captured NSIC Championships, and all three have advanced to NCAA postseason play. Rubbelke, the first full-time head softball coach at Concordia, was recently named one of four NACDA Region Athletic Directors of the Year at the Division II level.

After leaving Concordia, O'Brien was named director of athletics at Hamline University in St. Paul and he is now the director of football operations for the University of Minnesota.

He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of St. Thomas where he was an All-MIAC defensive back and two-time team captain. Dan and his wife, Chris, have three children, Brittany, Shay and Casey.

Blog: Gopher Volleyball Lawn Bowling

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Photo Album

KARE 11 Coverage

Tori Dixon and Ashley Wittman are used to getting up early for 6 a.m. workouts so when KARE 11 Sunrise called for them to compete in a lawn bowling tourney at 6 a.m., they were ready. 

KARE 11 (NBC Twins Cities affiliate) kicked off the 2012 London Olympics by holding an on-location event at a local English establishment (Brit's Pub) in Minneapolis. The duo was among former Olympians, Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve and Gopher wrestling head coach J Robinson. They all competed in a lawn bowling tournament to ring in the Summer Games as the opening ceremony is today (July 27th).

Arriving at 5:45 a.m., they were greeted by KARE's Bryan Piatt, while the live show was being held in the background. The competitive juices were flowing on the rooftop as Dixon and Wittman were paired with former Olympians, including wrestler Brandon Paulson, who won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. If there was an award for most competitive and enthusiastic, it went to him. Having only a couple practice opportunities, Gopher Volleyball represented in their rookie performance as their team (Team USA) won by one point.  

Minnesota Volleyball reports on August 7th with the first practice being held on August 8th. The Gophers start the season August 25th at the James Madison Tournament, while hosting the Diet Coke Classic on August 31st. Following the Olympics, Minnesota will welcome head coach Hugh McCutcheon. Currently the head coach of the U.S. women's Olympic team, McCutcheon will join the Gophers following the 2012 London Games.

Minute-By-Minute Recap: Big Ten Football Media Day

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Photo Gallery: Behind the scenes at Media Day
Go Gophers! MarQueis Gray
Go Gophers!
Quarterback MarQueis Gray was a busy man at Big Ten Football Media Day.
Go Gophers!

11 a.m. - Gopher staffers meet in the VIP/player hospitality room to discuss and finalize a media coverage plan for the day. Northwestern staffers and their contingent of players are also in the room, while players and staff from Michigan will walk in a few minutes later.

11:22 a.m. - Quarterback MarQueis Gray, linebacker Keanon Cooper and offensive lineman Ed Olson join the Minnesota party and grab a quick bite to eat before getting the day started. The Gophers have one of the later starts to the day, as they are the eighth school to begin the Big Ten Football Media Days circuit. (Only Michigan, Nebraska, Michigan State and Iowa start later).

11:30 a.m. - Coach Kill sits down with BTN marketing and shoots a few video promo clips.

11:40 a.m. - Gray, Cooper and Olson begin the media rounds with interviews with BTN, BTN The Journey, ESPN and ESPN.com. Olson is asked by the BTN to sing the fight song, which he does with ease, saying he has known the Rouser since he was little. The group also poses for some still photos for the Big Ten.  

12:15 p.m. - Coach Kill is the second coach from the Legends Division - and eighth overall - to address the assembled media in Chicago. Coach was asked about his health to which he simply stated, "I'm doing fantastic. I appreciate you asking." You can view Kill's entire press conference here.
Go Gophers! Jerry Kill
Go Gophers!
Head coach Jerry Kill adresses the media at Big Ten Football Media Day.
Go Gophers!

12:27 p.m. - Coach Kill's press conference ends and he entertains a few members of the media outside of the main interview room for some follow-up questions.

12:42 p.m. - Gray, Cooper and Olson finish the first part of their media obligations and then walk to meet coach Kill.

12:45 p.m. - Kill, Gray, Cooper and Olson site down at Stage 1 in the Local TV/Sirius XM Radio Session. They will spend about 10 minutes at each of the five designated stages answering questions from local TV stations from all over Big Ten country. There are roughly 50 local TV stations in attendance.   

1:30 p.m. - Gopher video guru Ryan Maus puts a wireless microphone on Gray, so stay tuned for "MarQueis Mic'd Up" on GopherSports.com. UPDATE: Watch "MarQueis Mic'd Up" now!

1:52 p.m. - Coach Kill sits down with Sirius XM Radio for a quick interview.

1:59 p.m. - Gray follows coach Kill and speaks with Sirius XM Radio.

2:02 p.m. - Cooper and Olson speak with Phil Miller of the Star Tribune.

2:15 p.m. - After finishing up their local TV obligations, the Gophers head out to radio row where there are about a dozen radio stations from Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska set up. Coach Kill makes the rounds and talks with Minnesota's KFAN and stations from Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin. These radio interviews will take about an hour of his time.

2:17 p.m. - Gray visits with radio stations from Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska before sitting down with Justin Gaard from KFAN.

2:21 p.m. - Olson entertains Gaard from KFAN.

2:38 p.m. - Cooper does a few interviews with media intermixed between the radio stations before spending some time with KFAN.   

2:55 p.m. - Gray, Cooper and Olson complete their media obligations for the day and head back up to their hotel rooms.

3:20 p.m. - Coach Kill sits down with ESPN and is asked many questions including if he is superstitious. His answer, "You look like me and there are no superstitions."

3:28 p.m. - Coach Kill poses for a few still pictures for the Big Ten before sitting down and doing an interview with the BTN and BTN The Journey. During one of the sessions, he is asked about the late Gary Tinsley. Coach spoke at length about Tinsley, his family and what he meant and still means to Gopher football. He ended by saying, "He has the best seat in the house and is on the ultimate team now."

3:57 p.m. - Coach Kill speaks with Adam Rittenberg on camera for ESPN.com and then talks off camera with Brian Bennett.

4:11 p.m. - Coach Kill visits with CBS for his last interview of the day.

4:22 p.m. - Coach Kill signs some promotional items for the Big Ten before retreating to his hotel room. He will not be there long as he has to speak at a Minnesota alumni function early this evening.

Gophers in Chicago for Big Ten Media Days

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Go Gophers! Delta flight Gophers Keanon Cooper (left) and MarQueis Gray received their Delta "wings" en route to Chicago.

College football is officially here.

Coaches and players from nearly every Big Ten school descended into Chicago today for the league's annual Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon. Representing the Gophers in the Windy City are head coach Jerry Kill, linebacker Keanon Cooper, quarterback MarQueis Gray and offensive lineman Ed Olson.

We want you to be part of the fun as well. Tweet questions to us using #AskGophers and we will get them answered for you from Kill, Cooper, Gray or Olson. You can also leave questions on our Facebook page and we will get then answered as well.

The official festivities begin tomorrow, as coach Kill and players will do countless interviews for the local and national media in attendance. To get you ready for the upcoming season, we compiled a list of nearly everything that happened with Gopher football during the summer. Read up, so you are ready for everything that happens tomorrow.

We will have full coverage of the Big Ten Football Media Days on GopherSports.com, but you can also check out Big Ten Network and ESPN, as they will be airing portions of the activities as well.

KFAN will also be broadcasting live from Chicago, so be sure to set the dial to 100.3 FM for all the latest and greatest information coming out of all the press conferences. They will also have live guests on to talk Gopher football and college football.

What They're Saying - Summer Roundup

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The college football season is right around the corner and Minnesota opens its 2012 campaign at UNLV on Aug. 30.  Four Gophers - head coach Jerry Kill, linebacker Keanon Cooper, quarterback MarQueis Gray and offensive lineman Ed Olson - are in Chicago this week to participate in the 2012 Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday and Friday.

So before all the festivities begin, we compiled a summer roundup of clips and stories about Minnesota football. Get your summer primer in now and then come back later for all the news from Chicago.  

Giel family donates memorabilia to Minnesota
Gophers pack more than 27,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger
Kills host successful Date Night
Gophers host Youth Day Out
Coach Kill visits Camp Oz
Season tickets on sale now
Gophers making impact on Twin Cities youth

1500 ESPN Twin Cities
Gray headed for a 'breakout year?'
Gillum makes bid for top spot
Hageman crucial to unit's success
Ed Olson set to lead developing group
Is Rabe the offense's 'secret weapon?'
Search is on for a go-to threat

So far, Gray has been run-first QB
Gillum looks to boost Gophers' running game
Gophers wide receiver competition wide open

Big Ten Network
Q&A with Jerry Kill
Q&A with Matt Limegrover

Star Tribune

McDonald takes a circuitous route home
Summer semester brings new players to the U
Edina teen triumphs over trouble with graduation

Pioneer Press
New Gophers AD not worried about football's recruiting rank
Gophers AD Norwood Teague: football will be top priority

Schedule Analysis
Home run summer: Minnesota

College Football News
2012 Minnesota preview - the big step
2012 Minnesota preview - offense
2012 Minnesota preview - defense

Waseca County News

Waseca football takes a page out of Jerry Kill's coaching book

Q&A with MarQueis Gray

Go Gophers! Kids Against Hunger
Go Gophers!
The Minnesota football team packed nearly 27,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger.
Go Gophers!

PHOTOS: Gophers Pack Meals for Kids Against Hunger

Learn More About Kids Against Hunger

On two consecutive Mondays, members of the Minnesota football team packed nearly 27,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger in New Hope, Minn.

The mission of Kids Against Hunger, a humanitarian food-aid organization, is to significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the United State and to feed starving children throughout the world.

Members of the Gopher defense packed 11,232 meals on Monday, July 16, while the Minnesota offense put together more than 16,000 meals on July 23. After breaking it down to meal-packed-per-player, the offense still packed more meals than the defense.

Date Night Was A Success

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Go Gophers! Date Night With Coach and Rebecca Kill
Go Gophers!
Date Night participants were able to get their picture taken with the iconic Floyd of Rosedale.
Go Gophers!
Date Night Photo Album

Coach Kill and his wife Rebecca hosted Date Night at TCF Bank Stadium on Thursday.

Upon arriving at the home facility for the Gophers, the participating couples were greeted by members of the football staff and were eventually led into the Minnesota locker room where their own personalized jerseys were hanging up in their stalls that were adorned with personalized nameplates.

Attendees could also get their picture taken with Floyd of Rosedale, the iconic trophy that is awarded annually to the winner of the Minnesota-Iowa game.

After putting their jerseys on, the couples received a pre-date pep talk from coach Kill and were then led onto the field by Rebecca Kill and Star-Tribune columnist Sid Hartman. They entered the playing surface through a cloud of smoke like the Gophers do for home games and then followed Goldy onto the field.

Once on the field, they lined up on the sideline for the National Anthem and then tried on the new Gopher helmets, shoulder pads and jerseys.

The evening ended with food and beverages on the plaza as the Gopher coaching staff mingled with the happy couples.

25 Things You Don't Know About...Mikayla Bailey

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Go Gophers! Mikayla Bailey
Go Gophers!

Mikayla Bailey is one of the newest additions to the 2012-13 Golden Gopher roster, and though we know that she led Osseo High School to the Class 4A State Championship Game last season and was the 2012 recipient of Osseo's Athena Award, the rookie shares 25 things fans may not know about her.

  1. My brother John is my best friend
  2. I love spending time with family
  3. I love to travel
  4. I want to sky dive with my father someday
  5. I am always laughing and joking around
  6. I have dog named Tanner
  7. I played soccer for five years in high school
  8. I pole vaulted in high school
  9. I love the ocean
  10. I love to rollerblade
  11. My favorite food is cereal
  12. I enjoy boxing
  13. My favorite TV programs are: The Ellen Show and The Bachelorette
  14. I love to fish
  15. I grew up without cable TV
  16. I like to listen to all kinds of music
  17. I love to go tubing on our boat
  18. I wish that I played volleyball in high school
  19. I loved playing AAU basketball for North Tartan
  20. I did Tae-Kwon-Do
  21. I love my bed
  22. My favorite book is Heaven is for Real
  23. My favorite movie is Miracle
  24. I love to shop for clothes and shoes
  25. I drive a 1990 Saab

GWH Blog: Two Gophers Picked in CWHL Draft

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The draft for the Canadian Women's Hockey League took place yesterday, and two former members of the Minnesota team were chosen in the draft. Anne Schleper, a defenseman, was drafted in the third round by the Boston Blades. In the fourth round, forward Jen Schoullis was also drafted by the Blades. Schleper and Schoullis both finished their Gopher careers with the NCAA Championship win last March. The pair will join former Gopher Gigi Marvin, who also plays for Boston.

Schleper and Schoullis are among five players drafted by Boston this season. Also picked by the Blades were Hilary Knight (Wisconsin), Genevieve Lacasse (Providence), and Kelley Steadman (Mercyhurst).

The CWHL consists of five teams, of which four are located in Canada: Alberta (with games played in both Calgary and Edmonton), Toronto, Brampton, Montreal, and Boston.

Last season, the Blades finished second in the league with a 20-7-0 record.

See the full list of drafted players on the CWHL website.

New Gopher Q&A - KJ Maye

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Go Gophers! KJ Maye
Go Gophers!
Freshman KJ Maye played quarterback in high school, but was recruited to Minnesota as an athlete.
Go Gophers!
KJ Maye bio

With the off-season winding down Gophersports.com is continuing with our series of interviews with the incoming freshman class. Next up is KJ Maye, an athlete from Murphy High School in Mobile, Alabama.

Maye earned a three-star rating from Rivals as well as ESPN, which ranked Maye as the No. 38 player in Alabama and the No. 95 athlete in the country. Playing quarterback as a senior, Maye collected 2,163 total yards of offense (1,041 on the ground and 1,122 through the air) as well as 21 total touchdowns. Maye led his Murphy team to a 7-5 record and a berth in the second round of the Alabama Class 6A Playoffs.

Although he played quarterback in high school, it is unclear at this time as to how Maye will be used by the Minnesota coaching staff. A versatile player who is lauded for his speed and ability to change directions, Maye is an explosive runner with good elusiveness. Despite not knowing exactly what position he will play in college one thing is for certain, Maye is a playmaker.

GopherSports: What led to you deciding to become a Golden Gopher and how does it feel to be one?

KJ Maye: My final decision was based on what I wanted to play in college and what level I wanted to play on. Being a Gopher feels good because it feels like home, like a real family.

GopherSports: How are you enjoying campus so far?

KJ Maye: It took me a couple of weeks to find my way around but now I'm finding everything well and I like it.

GopherSports: What, if anything, has surprised you about campus?

KJ Maye: How big it was. When I came on my visit it was freezing out so I didn't really get a chance to see how big the campus was and how far it goes so that really surprised me. The workouts surprised me too because we've been doing a lot more than I thought we would. I was ready for the running and the conditioning part but I really like how the weight program is. That surprised me too.

GopherSports: Do you have a planned major yet?

KJ Maye: I'm in between sport management and business management.

GopherSports: You were recruited as an athlete, what are you hearing about how you will be utilized?

KJ Maye: I've been working out at running back and slot receiver, mostly at running back though.

GopherSports: What are your goals for the upcoming season and for your college career?

KJ Maye: My goal for this upcoming season is just to get on the field period. From then on I want to get anything that you can get like all-conference or whatever you can get, that's my goal.

GopherSports: Is there any one Big Ten team that you look forward to playing?

KJ Maye: Michigan. I really want to play against those types of guys like Denard Robinson because I always used to watch them on YouTube and stuff like that.

GopherSports: Is there a particular athlete you try to model yourself after?

KJ Maye: Not really, I just like to watch a lot of good guys. I've learned a few things from some of them but I don't model myself after anyone.

GopherSports: What is your biggest strength in your opinion and what do you need to improve on?

KJ Maye: I feel like I'm ready. Whatever the coaches say I need to improve on I will because right now I feel like I'm ready.

GopherSports: How do you feel about the new uniforms?

KJ Maye: Can't wait to put them on.

GopherSports: What number will you be wearing this fall?

KJ Maye: Four. I wanted 1 or 5 but that was the only one that was open on offense that I wanted to wear.

GopherSports:  Is there any certain music you listen to before games?

KJ Maye: I've got to say Yo Gotti and Lil Boosie.

Bjugstad, Lucia Comment On Bjugstad Staying At The U

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Go Gophers! Nick Bjugstad
Go Gophers!
Nick Bjugstad announced today that he is returning for his junior season.
Go Gophers!
Nick Bjugstad and Don Lucia commented on Bjugstad's decision to remain at Minnesota for his junior season. Bjugstad, who will turn 20 next Tuesday, led Minnesota with 25 goals last year.

Nick Bjugstad

"Minnesota is a great school, and I want to complete my degree. That is one of the big things for me. We are also going to have a good team this year and hopefully get another chance at the national championship and make a run there. Those are my main goals, and I want to accomplish those. I feel I can develop here and become more of a leader on the team as well. Hopefully, I will have a good season.

"It was pretty tough. I put a lot of thought into it. There were a lot of pros and cons. I sat down with my family and everyone and I was also able to go to Florida's camp and hear what they had to say. They are a great organization.

"I thought I had a pretty good season last year, but I kind of died down toward the end of the season. I want to have a strong full season. Obviously we did not end well with our last game and that kind of sits in the back of your head. It is important to me to hopefully make it back there and do better than we did.

"We have a great team coming back. That played a big part in it, looking at who my teammates are. I love my teammates and it is a lot of fun playing with them. I cannot say enough about the incoming freshman either. They look like they are going to be real good as well. We will have a strong team and hopefully we can put a good year together.

"I always grew up wanting to be a Gopher. I watched those national championships back-to-back and that made me want to be like those guys. I feel like we maybe have an opportunity to do that next year. That definitely played a big part of it.

"My family was telling me to go with my gut for a while, but I really did not have a gut feeling because it was such a hard decision. My mind was going in every direction. In the end I think it was kind of a gut feeling. This is the right spot for me. I am going to be close to finishing my education and hopefully can accomplish the goal that I have wanted ever since I was little, which is winning a national championship.

"Playing Wisconsin outside at Soldier Field is going to be amazing. I played an outdoor game when I was in high school, but I am sure this will be a lot bigger stage and really exciting."

Don Lucia

"We are obviously excited Nick is returning. I think Nick felt that he had a little bit more room to grow as a person and as a player. The great thing is that at the end of his junior year is that he will be very close to graduating college. He can be a leader on our team and he feels he can continue to get better in our program. He made great strides his first two years and we are confident he is going to make great strides during his junior year.

"I think it says a lot about what he thinks about our program. He has confidence in that he will continue to improve. He has confidence in that we can have an outstanding season next year. Most importantly, I think he enjoys being a college student and enjoys being part of everything that this program stands for and is about. I think that is the biggest reason he decided to return. He is still young and we are looking to having him on our team next year.

"We are excited about the group we have returning. We had a great year last year winning the MacNaughton Cup and advancing to the Frozen Four. With the nucleus we have returning and our incoming freshman we will obviously have high goals and high expectations, but we would not want it any other way."

Blog: Looking Back on 20 Years of Soccer - 2000

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As crazy as it seems, the upcoming 2012 season will be the University of Minnesota's 20th year of having a women's soccer program. To pay tribute to the past 19 seasons, we will take a look back in time this summer and highlight the evolution of Gopher soccer year-by-year. The weekly updates will help us commemorate all the great moments in program history as we head into the highly-anticipated 2012 season, which kicks off August 17 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium against NCAA College Cup participant Florida State.

Today's installment takes us to 200, which was
marked the first coaching change in the history of Minnesota soccer. Barbara Wickstrand succeeded Sue Montagne to become the second head coach in Golden Gopher history.

Schedule/Results l Roster l Statistics l Photo Gallery

The season was a roller-coaster ride. After losing eight seniors to graduation, there were often time that the Gophers' lineup featured up to seven players in their first or second year of collegiate soccer. The result was a team that struggled to put the ball in the net, tallying just 20 goals en route to the first losing record in Minnesota soccer history.

The Gophers began their 2000 campaign with a rematch with Nebraska, the team that ended Minnesota's season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament the previous fall. The No. 5-ranked Huskers jumped on the Gophers early with two goals in the first 10 minutes and never looked back in defeating the Maroon & Gold by a 4-0 count.

One of the biggest highlights of the season came in the second match of the season, when No. 19 Kentucky visited Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. Minnesota used a goal by Laurie Seidl to defeat the Wildcats, 1-0. The win was the first of Coach Wickstrand's career and the first Gopher win over a nationally ranked team since 1998.

Playing their third-straight match at home to start the year, the Gophers improved to 2-1 on the season with a 1-0 victory over Iowa State in their next outing. The consecutive shutout victories earned goalkeeper Julie Eibensteiner Co-Big Ten Player of the Week honors, as well as a spot on the Soccer America Team of the Week.

The momentum shifted the following weekend, as the Gophers dropped non-conference matches to Montana and Detroit-Mercy. A 5-1 victory over Iowa was the only bright spot as Minnesota lost five matches in a six-match stretch.
Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!
Juli Montgomery
Go Gophers!

Starting on October 1, Minnesota captured four-straight shutout wins to pull their season record to 7-6. Starting defender Juli Montgomery was lost to a broken foot but replacing her was a concern for only a short time as Samantha Meyers moved from her midfield position to sweeper and excelled, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors at season's end.

The Gophers started the streak with a 2-0 win over Ohio State. Rookie Kecia Lee scored both goals for the only multi-goal match of the season for the Maroon & Gold.

Minnesota then went on the road for a pair of matches, capturing a 2-0 win at Purdue and a hard-fought 1-0 triumph at Indiana. The Gophers ended their home season with the last victory in the stretch, defeating Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1-0, on a goal by Rachael Roth.

Michigan State broke the Gophers' winning streak but needed double overtime to do so, capturing a 1-0 victory on a goal in the 109th minute of play.

The Gophers followed with a loss to rival Wisconsin, 4-2, and defeated Northwestern, 2-1 in overtime, to finish the Big Ten season with a 5-5-0 record and in a sixth-place tie in the league standings.

Minnesota traveled to Arizona for the final weekend of regular season. The Gophers lost a 2-0 contest to No. 10 Brigham Young, and then played host Arizona State to a 1-1 tie in double overtime.

The tie-breaker to decide seeding for the Big Ten Tournament dropped the Gophers down to the eighth seed and a quarterfinal match against regular-season champion No. 7 Penn State.

Minnesota weathered the storm for 89 minutes, holding the Nittany Lions scoreless with Eibensteiner, who was named to the All-Tournament team, collecting a career-high 13 saves. But with 56 seconds left in regulation, Penn State's All-American Christie Welsh bounced a ball into the Gophers' goal to give PSU the late win and end the Gophers season.

The Gophers would have Alison Rackley and Meyers would be the lone players tagged for postseason honors. Rackley was named second team, All-Great Lakes Region and first team, All-Big Ten while Meyers was selected as a second team, All-Big Ten defender.

25 Things You Don't Know About...Kionna Kellogg

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Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

In just her sophomore season, Kionna Kellogg was a consistent presence in the frontcourt for the Golden Gophers last season. Kellogg averaged 5.2 rebounds per game, matching the second-best average on the team, while also posting a .455 field goal percentage. Now as an upperclassman, Kellogg looks to expand her role even further in 2012-13. Here, the forward from Ames, Iowa, shares 25 things that Gopher fans may not know about her. 

  1. My middle name is Elise
  2. I am young for my age
  3. I was born in Marshall, Minnesota
  4. My mom still cuts my steak
  5. I am scared of spiders
  6. I had to go to summer school in the second grade
  7. I actually like playing defense
  8. I love cheese (colby or cheddar)
  9. I am compulsive about my finger nails
  10. I have never been stung by a bee
  11. I am good at math, even though I don't like it
  12. I used to want to be a gymnast
  13. I can do a really good cartwheel and round off
  14. I haven't read a book for pleasure in over two years
  15. I like to paint
  16. I cannot sing to save my life
  17. I have to set four alarms to wake up in the morning
  18. I have bad dreams about being late for workouts
  19. I LOVE to watch the rain and I LOVE storms
  20. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up
  21. I love to drive
  22. I had a paper route
  23. I taught myself to swim
  24. I LOVE roller coasters
  25. Cold weather makes me grumpy
The Big Ten Conference announced today the 36 student-athletes scheduled to attend the 2012 Big Ten Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon, held Thursday and Friday, July 26 and 27, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. The 41st annual luncheon is one of the most exciting and unique preseason events in college football.

The three players who will join coach Jerry Kill at the luncheon will be senior quarterback MarQueis Gray, senior linebacker Keanon Cooper and junior offensive lineman Ed Olson.

The Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon annually attracts some of the most talented names in college sports. The event has drawn legendary coaches as well as each of the conference's Heisman Trophy winners since 1970. In all, more than 800 of the conference's finest players, over 60 head coaches and more than 46,000 supporters have made the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon a yearly stop in their preseason college football schedules.

Gophers Excited About Hockey City Classic

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It was announced today that Minnesota will play Wisconsin in the Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field in Chicago on Feb. 17. In addition, Notre Dame and Miami will also face one another the same day at Soldier Field.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning on Oct. 1. Game times and television broadcast information for the event will be announced in the future.

The game between the Gophers and Badgers will count as a regular-season WCHA game.
The teams will meet Friday, Feb. 15, in Madison and then travel to Chicago on Saturday in advance of Sunday's Hockey City Classic. During the regular season the teams will meet four times total: twice at Mariucci Arena (Nov. 16-17), once in Madison and once in Chicago.

We caught up with head coach Don Lucia, forward Nate Condon and defenseman Seth Helgeson about playing in the Hockey City Classic. Here is what they had to say.

Don Lucia

"It is something that I have always wanted to do, and I think it will be exciting. Soldier Field has great history and this is a wonderful opportunity for the University of Minnesota to play in its first recent outdoor hockey game. It should be a terrific experience for all involved. Playing Wisconsin, one of our big rivals, will only add to the experience and make it extra special."

Nate Condon, forward

"I think it is going to be really cool for us. None of us have ever played in that environment and we are playing a big rival in Wisconsin. That is always a big game in itself. It gives us one of those rare chances to play in front of tens of thousands of people, something you could never do indoors. Then it also kind of brings you back to playing pond hockey and playing outside in the cold weather growing up. I grew up playing pond hockey. There was a rink nearby and I would play with my brothers and friends. Most of our other guys are from Minnesota, so all they did growing up was play pond hockey."

Seth Helgeson, defense

"I am excited to play. It will be our first time playing outdoors and will be a great atmosphere. This is a big game that will be in the spotlight and on a big stage. I am up for it and all the guys are up for it. It will be a great experience and playing Wisconsin only hypes the game up more. Playing a team like Wisconsin only makes this game that much more important to us. This is a once in a lifetime experience and something we will remember forever. It is a huge game, but it will also be our fans against their fans, so it will be a special night."

Blog: The Road to Outdoor Hockey in Chicago

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Go Gophers! press conference
Go Gophers!

It's been rumored for months, but is now confirmed -- Gopher men's hockey will be playing outdoors at Chicago's Soldier Field next February in a WCHA neutral site game against the Wisconsin Badgers. Junior Zach Budish and Gopher hockey communications director Paul Rovnak are traveling to the Windy City today for a special announcement -- follow their progress throughout the day leading up to the special announcement this afternoon!

Just got to Midway. Appreciate the short security lines. Now just an hour wait until returning to the State Of Hockey!

So long Chicago! Headed back to Midway to catch return flight to Minneapolis. Thanks to Intersport for having us. Feb 17 cannot come quick enough!

Go Gophers! Mighty Ducks
Go Gophers!

The fictional Lester Averman from Disneys "The Mighty Ducks" was at today's press conference -- he sought out Zach for a photo on the field, check out the picture above!

As we're waiting underneath Soldier Field, Zach Budish talks to a few youngsters who are out for the announcement.

On the shuttle to Soldier Field. Announcement for Hockey City Classic coming soon!

Go Gophers! Chicago Skyline
Go Gophers!
The Chicago Skyline on Wednesday.
Go Gophers!

11:43 - just sitting down for lunch at Harry Caray's with representatives from Intersport, Wisconsin and Notre Dame.


Zach and Paul just met all the folks at Intersport. Will be a great group to work with. Now a quick walk around Chicago before heading to lunch.

Wheels down in the Windy City. Plane is taxiing to the terminal. Then it is time to find a cab (a Chicago cab, not  a Boston cab) and meet the good folks from Intersport.

We are on the plane and headed to Chicago. Once we arrive we head to the main offices of Intersport, which is the group running the Hockey City Classic.


At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport grabbing a quick breakfast before boarding and taking off for Chicago.

Beginning of a quick trip to Chicago started with picking up Zach Budish at Bierman Field Athletic Building. Zach is one of four players who will be at Soldier Field to officially help announce the Hockey City Classic. He is the lone player who is not from the host
state of Illinois as Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Miami all sent players who are from Illinois.

New Gopher Q&A - Yoshoub Timms

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Go Gophers! Yoshoub Timms
Go Gophers!
Freshman Yoshoub Timms will wear No. 52 for the Gophers.
Go Gophers!
Interview by Student Assistant Mitch Praxl

Gophersports.com is continuing to interview the newest members of the Golden Gopher Football family from the 2012 signing class. The next player to be featured is Yoshoub Timms, a defensive lineman from Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Timms, a hard working defensive tackle with a good motor, signed with the Gophers after completing his career at Fort Walton Beach High School and being named first-team all-area by the Northwest Florida Daily News. Timms was rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN and picked Minnesota over many FBS programs, including Syracuse, Northern Illinois, and Southern Mississippi.

Gophersports: What ultimately led to you choosing to become a Golden Gopher and how does it feel to be one?

Yoshoub Timms: For me it was the program, I feel like I fit in real well. It feels really good to be a Gopher. Right now we're just working out a lot and school is great. Everything is perfect right now, I love it. Fall camp is coming up soon, and I can't wait for that. I'm hoping I can work myself into seeing some playing time as a freshman. Being a Gopher is great, I love it and I'm glad I came here.

Gophersports: How are you enjoying campus so far?

Yoshoub Timms: Campus is really nice. I'm from Florida so I'm still trying to find my way around campus. I know exactly where to go for my classes and stuff like that and how to get to the sports complex for workouts, but other than that I don't really know my way around yet.

Gophersports: What, if anything, has surprised you about campus?

Yoshoub Timms: Just how many people there are here. That's the main thing, especially during the summertime.

Gophersports: Do you have a planned major yet?

Yoshoub Timms: I'm leaning toward sport management right now. Otherwise maybe something with animals, I might try to become a vet tech.

Gophersports: What are your goals for the upcoming season and for your college career?

Yoshoub Timms: My goal is honestly to just get some playing time as a freshman. I haven't made an impact on the program yet and I'm hoping to do that during fall camp. I want to make an impact as a freshman and establish my position on the team. That's my goal right now and then after my freshman season I'm going to be shooting for a starting position and to make a bigger impact on the program. As of right now I'm just trying to take it one step at a time.

Gophersports: Is there any one Big Ten team that you look forward to playing?

Yoshoub Timms: Wisconsin. I just can't wait to play in that game because I know that they're big rivals here, so that's one game I'm looking forward to.

Gophersports: Is there a particular athlete you try to model yourself after?

Yoshoub Timms: I model myself after Ray Lewis. It's just the way he plays the game, the intensity he has and his passion. I want my mindset to be like him. But as a defensive lineman I want my game to be like John Randle. He's not that tall, and I'm not all that tall either. People were always saying that he's too small but you couldn't block him, he ran on a motor, and he was unstoppable. So I want my mindset to be like Ray Lewis and I want my talent to be like John Randle.

Gophersports: What is your biggest strength in your opinion and what do you need to improve on?

Yoshoub Timms: I think my biggest strength right now is probably my get off. I'm really quick getting off the ball, but I've got to get bigger. I'm only 270 right now so I've got to get bigger, that's the main thing I'm going to be doing this summer.

Gophersports: How do you feel about the new uniforms?

Yoshoub Timms: I love them, they're great. They have history behind them and they're just amazing. I saw them on my visit here and I took about a million pictures, I love the jerseys.

Gophersports: What number will you be wearing this fall?

Yoshoub Timms: I'll be wearing my high school number, 52. I'm going to be sharing that number with Zach Epping. I'll be wearing 52 and I'm really happy about that.

Gophersports: Is there any certain music you like to help you get psyched up for games?

Yoshoub Timms: There's a lot but the main music I listen to before a game get psyched up is Waka Flocka. All of his music gets you hyped up for competition. Him and Future, those are the main two I listen to as I get ready.

Top Moments of 2011-12: Gophers Advance To Frozen Four

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!
Click here to follow our countdown!
Go Gophers!
Editor's Note: The 2011-12 Minnesota men's hockey season was filled with memorable moments and dramatic comebacks that eventually culminated in a WCHA championship and the Gophers 20th NCAA Frozen Four appearance. This month, we take a look back at the Top 10 memorable moments from the 2011-12 season. Special thanks to the incomparable Frank Mazzocco, who hosts the countdown for us.

No. 1 - Gophers Beat North Dakota, Advance To Frozen Four
No. 2 - Schmidt's Effort Garners Cup Outright
No. 3 - Patterson Shutout, Bjugstad Hat Trick
No. 4 - Haula's Playoff Performance
No. 5 - Parenteau Plays OT Hero
No. 6 - Condon Caps Comeback At Duluth
No. 7 - Gophers Take Two From North Dakota
No. 8 - Bjugstad Befuddles Bulldogs
No. 9 - Warning Tames Huskies
No. 10 - Rau Rolls The Dice

In a year filled with great moments, this was the most memorable.  

Minnesota advanced to its 20th NCAA Frozen Four with a resounding 5-2 win against rival North Dakota on March 25 at Xcel Energy Center. The Gophers fell 6-3 to North Dakota just nine days earlier in the WCHA Final Five, but avenged the loss in convincing fashion to win the NCAA West Regional in St. Paul.

Ben Marshall, Erik Haula, Taylor Matson, Travis Boyd and Nate Condon all scored as Minnesota built a 5-1 lead with five minutes left in the game. Kent Patterson made 24 saves, including 14 in the third period as Minnesota ended North Dakota's season.

With the win, the Gophers, who began the season unranked, also recorded a 4-2-0 record against one of their main rivals during the season.   

Former Gopher John Williams Passes Away

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Go Gophers! John Williams
Go Gophers!
Former Gopher and All-American John Williams passed away on Sunday.
Go Gophers!
Former Minnesota football player and recent M Club Hall of Fame selection John Williams passed away on Sunday. He was 64.

Williams helped lead the Gophers to a 1967 Big Ten title before playing 12 years in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts and Los Angeles Rams. He was a member of the Colts when they won the 1971 Super Bowl.

"We were all deeply saddened to learn of John's passing over the weekend," said director of athletics Norwood Teague. "John was a great Gopher who represented both our football program and our community with dignity and class. Losing John at this time is especially difficult considering we just recently celebrated his selection into the M Club Hall of Fame. He will be missed."

Williams was named First Team All-American and First Team All-Big Ten in 1967. He was a three-year lettwerwinner at Minnesota before being drafted by Baltimore in the first round with the 23rd overall pick in the 1968 NFL Draft. Williams went on to play 166 games in the NFL over 12 seasons with the Colts and Rams.

His numerous accomplishments on the field rivaled those he obtained off of it. Upon retirement, Williams returned to Minnesota and became a dentist. He was actively involved in the north Minneapolis community and won the 1992 Minneapolis volunteer of the year award and. He was also a pilot and served on the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which is the governing board at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

"He was someone who seemingly everyone respected," Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak told the Star Tribune on Sunday afternoon. "John was a crucially important member of many civic projects in north Minneapolis, including revitalizing West Broadway and involving youth."

Funeral arrangements for Williams, who received a kidney transplant last month, are pending. He will be inducted into the M Club Hall of Fame posthumously at the TCF Bank Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 20.

Blog: Looking Back on 20 Years of Soccer - 1999

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As crazy as it seems, the upcoming 2012 season will be the University of Minnesota's 20th year of having a women's soccer program. To pay tribute to the past 19 seasons, we will take a look back in time this summer and highlight the evolution of Gopher soccer year-by-year. The weekly updates will help us commemorate all the great moments in program history as we head into the highly-anticipated 2012 season, which kicks off August 17 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium against NCAA College Cup participant Florida State.

Today's installment takes us to 1999, which was highlighted by yet another NCAA Tournament berth and the opening of Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.

Schedule/Results l Roster l Statistics l Photo Gallery

The 1999 season of Minnesota soccer may not be remembered as much for what happened on the field than for the field itself. The seventh season of Golden Gopher soccer opened a new era with the opening of the state-of-the-art Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.

A single-match record crowd of 1,432, which was later broke in 2005 and now sits fifth all-time, filled the stadium past capacity to watch the Gophers win the first match at ELR over Arizona State, 1-0, on September 4. Fans circled the field to create an atmosphere unlike any other in Minnesota soccer history. The crowd erupted when senior Laurie Seidl netted the first goal in the Gophers' new home.

After a season-opening win over UW-Milwaukee and then the win over ASU, Minnesota climbed into the national poll for the only time in 1999, tabbing a No. 22 ranking.

That national ranking would be lost as the Gophers fell victim to a three-match losing skid, with losses to Iowa State, Southern Methodist and No. 21 Illinois. After only notching two goals in the three matches, Minnesota showcased what would become a common trend throughout the year, finding a way to score.

Still struggling offensively, the Gophers traveled to Iowa in hopes of averting a disastrous 0-2 start to the Big Ten season. Minnesota escaped with a 2-1 overtime triumph after senior Nicole Lee blasted the game-winning goal with only seconds left in the second overtime period.

The Maroon & Gold returned home to defeat Michigan State, 2-0, before hosting Northwestern on September 26, which was the day ELR was dedicated. After pre-match ceremonies that included Deborah Olson honoring her late mother, for whom the stadium is named, the Gophers used a Lee goal in the 50th minute to capture a 1-0 victory over Northwestern. Sophomore defender Juli Montgomery was tagged Big Ten Player of the Week following the shutout victories over the Spartans and Wildcats.

Minnesota saw their record dip to 5-5 with road losses to Ohio State and No. 5 Penn State before a five-match home stand turned the tide with the Gophers winning four-of-five matches. Minnesota ended the stretch with a 1-0 win over rival Wisconsin, securing a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten with a 6-4-0 record.

The Gophers won two-of-three non-conference contests to end the regular season, defeating Evansville and Alabama. They then watched No. 14 Kentucky gain a bit of revenge, shutting out the Gophers, 2-0, avenging a drubbing at the hands of the Maroon & Gold in the 1998 NCAA Tournament.

Tagged as the fourth seed for the Big Ten Tournament, Minnesota advanced to the semifinals with a 2-0 victory over Ohio State. The Gophers were eliminated from the tourney in a hard-fought, 2-1, decision to regular-season champion Penn State. Montgomery would be named to the All-Tournament team for her efforts.

The Golden Gophers would receive their fifth-straight invitation to the NCAA Tournament field and hosted Eastern Michigan on November 10. Minnesota earned passage to the NCAA second round for the third consecutive season with a 2-0 victory.

Minnesota's second-round opponent, No. 5-ranked Nebraska, turned out to be too much for the Gophers as the Cornhuskers ended their season with a 5-0 defeat.

The Maroon & Gold ended their season with a 13-9-0 record. Along the way, they averaged a home attendance of 904, which ranked No. 18 in the nation and ranks fifth in program history.

Following the conclusion of the 1999 season, Golden Gopher head coach Sue Montagne resigned from her position to become the head coach at the University of Georgia. During her time with the Gophers, Montagne compiled a 97-42-9 record, garnered two Big Ten titles and made five-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Montagne's assistant coach Barbara Wickstrand would later be announced the new head coach on January 27.

Lee and Montgomery would be the lone representatives of Minnesota on the NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region teams. Montgomery was recognized as a second-team selection as she was the leader on a defense that posted 10 shutouts on the year while Lee was named a third-teamer for leading the Gophers in scoring.

Montgomery and Lee would be joined by Seidl on the All-Big Ten soccer honors squad. The lone first-team selection was Montgomery, who played all but 43 minutes of the Gophers' 22 matches. Lee and Seidl were named second team, All-Big Ten and each received their third-career Big Ten accolade.

Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!
Click here to follow the progress of our countdown!
Go Gophers!
Editor's Note: The 2011-12 Minnesota men's hockey season was filled with memorable moments and dramatic comebacks that eventually culminated in a WCHA championship and the Gophers 20th NCAA Frozen Four appearance. This month, we take a look back at the Top 10 memorable moments from the 2011-12 season. Special thanks to the incomparable Frank Mazzocco, who hosts the countdown for us.

No. 2 - Schmidt's Effort Garners Cup Outright
No. 3 - Patterson Shutout, Bjugstad Hat Trick
No. 4 - Haula's Playoff Performance
No. 5 - Parenteau Plays OT Hero
No. 6 - Condon Caps Comeback At Duluth
No. 7 - Gophers Take Two From North Dakota
No. 8 - Bjugstad Befuddles Bulldogs
No. 9 - Warning Tames Huskies
No. 10 - Rau Rolls The Dice

There are plays that define seasons, and this was one of them.

Sophomore blueliner Nate Schmidt dove and stopped the puck with stick, barely preventing it from leaving the offensive zone. He then got up, faked a shot, eluded a sliding Badger and then hammered home his third and most important goal of the season.

The magnificent individual effort gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead and finished a third-period rally that ended with the Gophers holding the MacNaughton Cup as outright WCHA champions.

Blog: Looking Back on 20 Years of Soccer - 1998

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As crazy as it seems, the upcoming 2012 season will be the University of Minnesota's 20th year of having a women's soccer program. To pay tribute to the past 19 seasons, we will take a look back in time this summer and highlight the evolution of Gopher soccer year-by-year. The weekly updates will help us commemorate all the great moments in program history as we head into the highly-anticipated 2012 season, which kicks off August 17 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium against NCAA College Cup participant Florida State.

Today's installment takes us to 1998, which was the program's sixth season and culminated in its fourth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Schedule/Results l Roster l Statistics l Photo Gallery

After a season-opening 1-0 loss to Cincinnati, the Golden Gophers came home and posted a pair of 7-0 wins over Minnesota-Duluth and UW-Green Bay and added a 4-2 victory over Pudue in the span of seven days. Senior Laurie Seidl scored eight of those goals and was an honorable mention choice for national player of the week honors by College Soccer Weekly.

The Gophers climbed to a 5-1-0 record to begin the season, but a big downfall came during the last weekend of September, when Minnesota dropped its first two Big Ten home contests with a 2-0 loss to Wisconsin and 2-1 defeat at the hands of Northwestern.

The rollercoaster season began to climb back up the following weekend as the Gophers traveled to Michigan and left the Great Lakes State with a 4-1 win over No. 24 Michigan and a 1-0 win over Michigan State.

That, however, was shadowed by another dip as the Maroon & Gold dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime decision to Penn State, only to be followed by a 1-0 loss at home to Ohio State two days later.

Minnesota's fortunes climbed once against when they closed the conference schedule with a 1-0 win at home over No. 17 Indiana. Freshman Julie Eibensteiner won in her first career start and fellow rookie Alison Rackley scored the game's lone goal in the 89th minute. A 3-1 win over Illinois followed, and the Gophers went on to win four non-conference matches to close the regular season with a six-game winning streak.

The Gophers would go ahead and draw Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. For the second consecutive year, Minnesota bowed out in a game decided on penalty kicks after playing 120 minutes to a 2-2 draw.

Despite exiting the tournament early for the second-straight season, the Gophers received a NCAA Tournament bid and would host Kentucky. Minnesota trumped the Wildcats 6-0 behind junior Nicole Lee's one goal and three assist performance.

Four days later, the Maroon & Gold traveled to Portland, Ore. to face No. 5 Portland. The Pilots used a five-minute span of the second half to score all their goals in a 3-0 victory.

Minnesota closed out the season with a 14-6-1 overall record and went 5-4-0 in the Big Ten. The Gophers, who historically play very well at home, went 6-3 at St. Paul Campus Soccer Field, which at the time was the most home losses in program history.

Four Gopher players were honored at the end of the season with All-Great Lakes Region honors. Lee was the lone Gopher to receive first team honors while Seidl and Vanessa Touset were named to the second team. Rackley was chosen to the Great Lakes Region All-Rookie team.

Lee, Seidl and Touset, all who served as co-captains for the Gophers, also were named first team, All-Big Ten. Lee earned first-team honors after being a second-team pick last season. She led the Big Ten in goals and points. Seidl, the Big Ten's Newcomer of the Year in 1997, earned first-team honors after finishing second in the conference in goals and third in points. Touset was named to the first team for the second consecutive year.

Mariucci Classic Dates Finalized

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2012-13 Schedule

The University of Minnesota men's hockey team announced today the dates for the upcoming season's Mariucci Classic.

The event will be contested on Saturday, Dec. 29 and Sunday, Dec. 30. This year's edition of the annual contest will have an NCAA tournament feel to it as the Gophers will welcome defending national champion Boston College, NCAA tournament participant Air Force and 2012 NCAA Frozen Four host Alabama in Huntsville to Minneapolis.

The matchups for this year's Mariucci Classic will be announced in the future. The semifinals will be played on Saturday, while the championship game and third-place game will be played on Sunday.

25 Things You Don't Know About...Kayla Hirt

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Go Gophers! Kayla Hirt
Go Gophers!

Redshirt freshman Kayla Hirt did not get the opportunity to hit the hardwood in 2011-12 after tearing her ACL in an early season practice, but the Gophers' forward is anxiously awaiting her opportunity to showcase her talent in 2012-13. Hirt has been diligent in her rehabilitation since having surgery in November, and anticipates being able to have an immediate impact for Minnesota in her rookie campaign. Here, the forward from Bemidji, Minn., shares 25 things that Gopher fans may not know about her.  

  1. I was born two months early
  2. I was three pounds, 15 ounces
  3. I was born in Fargo, N.D.
  4. When I was two, I had an absess infection in my hip, which forced me to quit walking and put me in the hospital for a couple of months
  5. I have more shoes then a person could ever wear
  6. I love piercings. I have 16
  7. My favorite show is Law and Order: Criminal Intent
  8. One thing i wish i could do is play the piano
  9. I want to buy a black Chrysler 300
  10. As I get older, I become more and more scared of being outside when it's dark
  11. My favorite movie is Love and Basketball
  12. My favorite tv show is One Tree Hill
  13. I love candy. I used to be so obsessed, that I would keep candy on the bench and eat it during time outs
  14. I love being able to express myself through the way I dress. How many people say they wear whatever they want, when they want to?
  15. I love math class
  16. I don't drink pop or eat fast food. This makes up for me eating candy. Ha
  17. I cut open my head one day when i was trying to dunk, because I hit my head on the rim
  18. I have tried just about every sport: soccer, volleyball, softball, track, hockey, football and, obviously, basketball
  19. I used to skateboard
  20. I love cell phones. I have had just about every type of cell phone. I love the change of having a new one
  21. I might be considered addicted to my cellphone :/
  22. I love photo design. If i ever get bored, I crop and customize pictures
  23. I am addicted to Applebee's boneless buffalo wings
  24. Something that drives me insane is when people's shoes dont match their outfits
  25. My favorite state is Arizona. I hope to move there when I get older. BEAUTIFUL!

Blog: Koch and Skrove Go Dutch (July 2)

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Photo Gallery

For once, we are going to do a post about a single day of events rather than the usual catch you all up on two weeks of our adventures. As you all know back home we live six hours apart. This came up in conversation with one of our guy friends when we were site seeing the other day. He then proceeded to tell us that we could be in another country in that amount of time, for instance Paris. We looked at each other and said that is AWESOME, and he calmly responded, "OK let's do it"! That was that, we were going to Paris- the city of love!! Tuesday night after practice, we loaded the car with two of our good friends here: Minal (one of our teammates) and Schubert (one of the guys on the baseball team) and set out on our adventure.

Around 10 p.m., we were officially on our way. We had snacks for the trip, but if you really know us, you would not be surprised to hear that they were basically gone before we hit the boarder of the Netherlands and Belgium. The 'plan' was to drive to Paris and find the cheapest hotel we could find to spend the night and get up early to go explore. Let's just start by saying plans are never concrete. We made it to the first hotel right outside Paris around 2:30 a.m. Needless to say, we were tired of the car and all looking forward to getting some sleep. We grabbed our stuff and headed inside, only to find out the hotel was "Complet" meaning full! Ok, no problem we thought... We will just drive further into Paris and find something else. Here is where the adventure really began. Who would have thought Paris would be busy on a random Tuesday night??  Not us...we were WRONG! Dannie has never been rejected that many times in one day let alone her whole entire life. She and Schubert probably walked into every hotel/motel we drove by which was no joke probably around 30! Some had signs on the door which read "Complet", others we had to hit a pager button for someone to open the door since it was so late. Some Dannie and Schubert actually had to knock on the window even after ringing the bell to wake up the sleeping security guard at the front desk. This went on from 2:30-5 a.m. 

We finally excepted failure and parked on a side road in who knows where Paris and slept in the car. Let's just paint a picture for you guys... four of us in a tiny hatchback BMW do not fit "comfortably" at all! We all were up two hours later, so it is now 7:30. Hungry, hot, tired, and all of us having to pee, we were just a happy bunch. We all know how much Alissa loves mornings so she was especially cheery!

We at this point just wanted to find somewhere to park the car for the day and maybe a bathroom. We ended up finding a hotel that had an underground parking ramp, so we parked there for the day used their restrooms and headed off to find some breakfast. We enjoyed some "French" eggs and French fries.. Yes fries.. We were surprised as well, we didn't know our omelets would be served with fries, but we guess "when in France" right. Now that we had some food in our bellies we were all a little more awake and ready to go explore.

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Our first stop was you guessed it...the Eiffel Tower. It was around 10 a.m. at this point and the line to ride the elevator up to the summit was so long, probably about an hour or two wait. We were not having that, and the original plan was to walk the stairs anyway. We bought our tickets and started our 1,652 stair climb, which brought us up to the first and second levels of the tower which is around 377 feet up. Once we reached the second level there was an elevator that took us up to the summit. Everyone has to ride the elevator from this point up, we didn't quit.

It was a very cool view that over looked the entire city. Both of us being slightly afraid of heights (a little bit of an understatement) made it easy for Schubert and Minal to see that we were kind of nervous once we reached the top. We took a few pictures and then made our way back down. Once we got to the bottom we were on a mission to find Starbucks because our two hours of sleep and the full day ahead of us was kind of daunting. On our way to find coffee, we continued to be true tourists and enjoy our surroundings. We watched a Spanish dance performance in the square.

The next site we stopped at was the Arc de Triomphe. This is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. The names of all the French victories and generals are inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces, and beneath its vault lies the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" from World War I. Dannie and Schubert considered playing Frogger across traffic to get there, and for those of you who don't know what the roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe is like, we will help you. It's like a death trap or a black hole once you go in you don't come back out. They do not have lanes for their traffic around there it is just a free for all! To get a better picture of this, you should watch National Lampoon's European Vacation, we know it's not the right country but you get the point and the Arc de Triomphe is about 1,000 times worse with four lanes of chaos. Luckily, Dannie and Schubert were smarter than that and kept looking for ways to get across to the monument. They finally saw the stairs that tunneled underneath the road and brought you up the other side.

At this point, we were all in dire need of Starbucks. We asked some random girl, how to get to the nearest Starbucks. We don't think she really had a clue because she told us to go 20 minutes the opposite direction we thought we should go and then we might find it. Needless to say we didn't listen to her, and we went the way we thought it might be. We found one about five minutes away. That was the energy rush we needed.  

After leaving Starbucks, we continued to walk in whichever direction we felt like. We took the subway to the Musee du Louvre or simply the Lourve which is one of the world's largest museums. We didn't go into the museum, but instead, we went into the square Cour Caree and the oldest part of the Louve. In the square is where the La Pyramide Inversee (The inverted Pyramid) is located. The glass pyramids were cool to see and there were big water fountains scattered throughout the square. We walked across the Pont des Arts Bridge, which has turned into a place where tourists have turned Paris into a place where couples show their never ending love to each other by putting a padlock or "love lock" on the fence of the bridge. The fad took off around two-years ago and has almost 2,000 padlocks of all shapes, colors, and sizes locked on the bridge with messages of eternal love. It was crazy just how many locks there actually were on both sides of the bridge with a railing that was normal height for a walk over bridge...these locks were really packed on there.

All the walking had made us hungry again, so we stopped at a cafĂ© to have the famous French crepes. They were delicious! Alissa had a ham and cheese one and Dannie had a chocolate, nutella, and banana one. This was our last stop before we made our LONG walk back to the car. We might have walked all over the city of Paris by the end of the day for a total of about 10 hours. We got back into the car and made our six-hour trek home!

Overall, the 24-hour trip was awesome! We had a blast site seeing and enjoying each others company. Although we never found a hotel and had to sleep in the car, we wouldn't have had it any other way. We now have some great memories and stories from our 24-hour Paris adventure!

Blog: Looking Back on 20 Years of Soccer - 1997

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As crazy as it seems, the upcoming 2012 season will be the University of Minnesota's 20th year of having a women's soccer program. To pay tribute to the past 19 seasons, we will take a look back in time this summer and highlight the evolution of Gopher soccer year-by-year. The weekly updates will help us commemorate all the great moments in program history as we head into the highly-anticipated 2012 season, which kicks off August 17 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium against NCAA College Cup participant Florida State.

Today's installment takes us to 1997, which was a season that saw the Gophers claim their first NCAA victory and served as the program's winningest season up until 2008.

Schedule/Results I Roster I Statistics I Photo Gallery

After having a difficult season a year earlier due to injuries, the Golden Gophers had a positive outlook on the 1997 season as they returned an experienced squad, including the last two Big Ten Players of the Year.

Minnesota would start the year off with a pair of home victories over Evansville and Montana at the St. Paul Campus Soccer Complex.

The program's home streak would be cut short as Cincinnati came a scored only the fifth victory for an opponent in the Twin Cities, 3-1. Two days later, the No. 21-ranked Maroon & Gold edged out Washington State, 3-2, thanks to a goal from sophomore Megan Johnson in the 70th minute. The win began a 15-game unbeaten streak for the Golden Gophers, which is still the longest in school history. The following week, the Gophers played a tight match with UW-Milwaukee as they received their only tie of the streak.

The Gophers would suffocate their next five opponents as the recorded four shutouts in those contests. The lone game that wasn't a shutout was a 4-1 triumph over rival Wisconsin. Of those five matches, four of them were against Big Ten schools.
Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!
Nicole Lee
Go Gophers!

No. 21 Minnesota pulled off an upset to start October as they hosted No. 11 Michigan and pulled out a 4-3 double overtime victory as Nicole Lee notched the game winner in the 115th minute. A pair of days later, they turned around and shutout Michigan State, 4-0, which marks the last time the Gophers completed a sweep in the annual Michigan-Michigan State weekend.

The Maroon & Gold would hop back on the road the following weekend to defeat Indiana, 3-1, and Ohio State in a double overtime thriller, 2-1. The triumph in Columbus, Ohio clinched the regular season Big Ten title for the Golden Gophers.

The Gophers had a hiccup in the following game as they allowed Penn State to jump out to a 3-0 lead within the first 15 minutes of the match, but Minnesota rallied to knot up the match at 3-3 and snag the 4-3 victory in overtime. The win capped off an undefeated conference season for the Gophers, which had never happened before in the Big Ten.

Minnesota would go on and record a trio of home shutouts against UW-Green Bay, Butler and Baylor before losing to No. 7 Nebraska, 3-1, in the regular season finale.

The Golden Gophers carried the top seed into the Big Ten Tournament as they were set to face Michigan State. Minnesota would make quick work of the Spartans, winning 2-0 and not allowing a shot on goal.

In the second round, the Gophers drew Northwestern. The Maroon & Gold snagged an early 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes of the match, but the Wildcats battled back to force overtime and then a shootout after the scored remained knotted at 2-2 following two overtime periods. After five kicks, the shootout was tied 4-4, sending it to a sudden death shootout. Northwestern would come away with the victory in the fifth round of the shootout and send Minnesota home early.

Despite losing in the conference tournament, the Golden Gophers would receive a NCAA Tournament bid and host UW-Milwaukee at the St. Paul Campus Soccer Complex. The Maroon & Gold allowed the Panthers to take a 1-0 lead in the first half, but they would eventually take control and notch a pair of goals for the Gophers' first NCAA Tournament win in program history.

Minnesota advanced to the second round and drew the tough task of playing No. 3 Santa Clara at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. In front of 1,108 fans, the Gophers were handed its worst lose all season as the Broncos bombarded Minnesota with four first half scores. The Maroon & Gold would receive a goal from Jennifer McElmury at the 62nd-minute mark, but the damage was done and Santa Clara advanced with a 5-1 victory.

The Gophers would finish the year with an 18-3-2 record, which marked the most wins in program history. That mark would later be surpassed in 2008 when the program garnered 22 victories. Minnesota won the Big Ten Championship after posting a 9-0 conference record, becoming the first team in history to achieve such an accomplishment. The Gophers were led by the Big Ten Coach of the Year Sue Montagne.

On the field, senior McElmury and Jennifer Walek led the Gophers. McElmury was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and an All-American for the second-straight season while Walek was a first team, All-Big Ten selection. McElmury finished the season with 12 goals and 32 points while Walek had five goals and eight assists for 18 points.

Lee, who was named second team, All-Big Ten, also picked up a major portion of the offense for Minnesota, scoring 13 goals and tallying 30 points. Laurie Seidl also received second team, All-Big Ten honors along with winning the Big Ten Newcomer of the Year award and being named a Freshman All-American. Seidl was third on the team in scoring with nine goals and seven assists for a combined total of 25 points.

Minnesota's defense, led by All-Big Ten selections juniors Jamie Wyffels and Vanessa Touset, was spectacular allowing only 30 goals all season and posting shutouts in 10 games.

In goal for the Gophers was sophomore first team, All-Big Ten goalkeeper Dana Larson. Larson played every minute for the Maroon & Gold and was 18-3-2 on the season with 10 shutouts and a goal against average of 1.22.


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