This weekend, the Minnesota men's golf team will play its final tournament of the fall. The Gophers will travel to Kiawah Island, S.C., for the Kiawah Island Invitational (Nov. 3-5). The team held a qualifying tournament to determine the travel roster.
Jose Mendez, Jon Trasamar and Alex Gaugert were exempt from qualifying. Matt Rachey automatically qualified by finishing with the top score. Tyler Lowenstein win a nine-hole playoff against Jon DuToit at TPC Twin Cities on Thursday to determine the final spot.
The first round of qualifying took place on Friday, Oct. 25 at Southview Country Club, a par-71, 6,520-yard course. Round 2 was Monday at Interlachen Country Club, a par-72, 6,985-yard course. The third round took place at Wayzata Country Club (par-72, 7,108 yards). Only 15 holes counted on both Monday and Tuesday due to conflicts with class, and those scores are noted in parentheses.
MINNEAPOLS, Minn. - In the Minnesota locker room following last week's 20-17 win at Northwestern, the Gophers' coaches talked about how much this year's team could accomplish if it just believes in itself.
One of the things mentioned in that victorious celebration was that the Gophers had what it takes to beat Nebraska. That was a bold statement, given that the Huskers entered today's game without a loss in the series in more than 50 years.
Well, it looks like Minnesota's players took that message to heart.
On Saturday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium, Minnesota rallied from an early 10-0 deficit to defeat the No. 21/25 Huskers, 34-23.
Led by sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson, junior running back David Cobb, and an inspired defense, the Golden Gophers scored 17 unanswered points to take a 17-13 lead at the half. Minnesota then scored the first 10 points of the second half to build a 27-13 lead and hold on for the win.
After the game, fans stormed the field and a mass celebration took place around the 50 yard line.
Here are some of the things the Gophers accomplished with the milestone victory:
--Minnesota defeated Nebraska for the first time since a 26-14 win on Sept. 24, 1960, snapping a 16-game losing streak versus NU
--Minnesota scored its most points against the Huskers since a 39-20 win in Minneapolis on Oct. 20, 1951
--The Gophers improved to 6-2 this season, qualifying for a bowl berth for the second consecutive year
--Minnesota recorded its first win versus a nationally-ranked opponent since defeating No. 24 Iowa, 27-24, to end the 2010 season
The win created such a buzz on Twitter that the person updating Minnesota's Game Day Blog could hardly keep up with the traffic.
Nelson entered the game with 8:41 remaining in the second quarter and the Gophers trailing, 10-7. He immediately led Minnesota on a seven-play, 88-yard drive, completing two passes for 53 yards in the process.
The key play on the drive was a 33-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Engel on 4th and 10. Engel beat two Nebraska defenders on a post route and made a leaping grab of Nelson's pass, giving Minnesota a 14-10 lead with 6:21 left in the half.
"When the play call came in, I knew I was the go-to on that play," Engel said. "Philip put a good ball up there, and at first I thought it was going to be overthrown, but it hung in the air. So I stuck a foot and put my hands up and the next thing I knew it was a touchdown."
Here's another milestone - when Engel scored that touchdown, it gave Minnesota its first lead versus the Huskers since 1969. Yes, you read that correctly.
Cobb also played a huge role for the Gophers, as he recorded his second-straight 100-yard rushing game by carrying 31 times for 138 yards, both career-highs. Cobb's performance helped the Gophers rush for 271 yards on 54 attempts, an average of 5.0 yards per carry.
"From the first quarter on, throughout the game, the offensive line had a great push and as a running back if there's no penetration you can see you gaps, holes and cuts and it makes it easy," Cobb said. "So they did a great job of play action pass and it opened up the lines for me. Really, it was more the O-line and just the whole play-calling scheme more so than me."
Defensively, the Gophers allowed 88 yards and 10 points on Nebraska's first two drives of the game, but then settled down to surrender just 81 yards and three points the remainder of the half.
The strong defensive play for Minnesota continued into the third quarter, as the Gophers forced Nebraska into three-and-outs on its first two possessions, while Minnesota's offense took the opportunity to score 10 points and build a 27-13 advantage with 2:33 left in the third.
At that point, the Gophers had outscored the Huskers, 27-3, since the 7:06 mark of the first quarter. Those in the crowd of 49,995 dressed in Maroon and Gold were ecstatic, while those wearing red were in shock.
"I think we all just have this confidence right now," Nelson said after the game. "We know that we can compete with anyone and that's the main thing as a football player. You just have to believe in yourself and that you are going to go out there and compete. That's where we are at right now."
Nebraska fought back, scoring the next 10 points to cut Minnesota's lead to 27-23 with 9:26 remaining. But the Gophers' defense once again did its part to allow Minnesota to retain the lead by forcing a 37-yard field goal by Pat Smith instead of allowing a tying touchdown.
After Nebraska forced a punt to regain possession with 5:50 left in the game, Minnesota's defense did its job once again. The Gophers dropped the Huskers for minus-2 yards and forced a punt, which Sam Foltz shanked out of bounds at the Huskers' 34.
On the ensuing drive, Cobb carried six times for 16 yards and Nelson completed a key 20-yard pass to freshman tight end Maxx Williams, before Nelson sealed the monumental victory with a one-yard touchdown run with 0:48 seconds left.
And, in the end, Minnesota's defense came up big once again, as senior defensive back Jeremy Baltazar intercepted Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez with 0:16 left.
"We are starting to believe and that's all that really needs to be said right now," Nelson said. "We have the confidence rolling from week to week and we are finally starting to realize how good we really can be."
Believing in themselves, the Gophers accomplished what few outside the program thought they could do. Now it's on to Indiana, a team Minnesota last faced during 2008.
Belief. It can create a confidence and a swagger that can help a team accomplish great things.
Saturday's performance versus the Huskers was a perfect example.
Catch up on some of the media coverage of Gopher women's hockey this week. The media previewed this weekend's series at Bemidji State, recognized Dani Cameranesi's WCHA Rookie of the Week award and looked at both Gopher men's and women's hockey being No. 1 in the national polls.
Twenty-nine...some of you may be wondering: What is the significance of this number? Twenty-nine is the score posted by Jon Trasamar on the final nine holes of the Barnabas Health Intercollegiate last weekend! Not only did it include five birdies and an eagle that propelled him to a second-place finish, his finest performance as a collegiate golfer, but it also sealed a 17-shot victory for our team in the 15-team field. First team win since 2006-07 season, first outright team victory going back to the 2005 Gopher Invitational and the first time in my coaching career to have all five team members finish inside the top 10! What a week to back up a fine performance at the Alister MacKenzie hosted by the University of California...
Trasamar's back-nine 29 propelled him to a career-best finish.
Sonoma, Calif., is the home of Sam Snead's favorite golf course west of the Mississippi River (Sonoma Golf Club) and one of the busiest tourism areas in the world this time of the year. Our golfers came to play this weekend. Sonoma GC played firm and fast at 7,100 yards in near perfect weather. Ten top-75 teams were assembled primarily from the Pac-12 and West Coast Conference to battle it out in one of the most historic college tournaments on the NCAA schedule each year. Besides having some of the best Mexican food, playing Mayacama GC (one of the top 100 courses in the world) and listening to stories from tourists about every grape known to the industry, we were there to compete...and we did just that!
Alex Gaugert capped off a fine performance to our team's ninth-place finish with three under-par rounds and a three-round total of 7-under-par 206. This was good enough for a seventh-place finish that has now vaulted him inside the top 600 in the overall Golfstat Individual rankings. Jose Mendez, Jon Trasamar, Tyler Lowenstein and Jon DuToit all had solid rounds that enabled Gopher golf to finish in ninth place with a 3-round total of 7 under par. The 9th-place showing was slightly misleading as we finished 10 strokes out of second and 10 strokes ahead of 11th. A final nine holes of +3 allowed a few teams to move past us but an under-par team showing went a long ways mentally in preparation for our trip the same week to Seton Hall, N.J.
No one on our team had been to New Jersey before. I love when our guys talk about the number of states that they have now been through because of college golf. New Jersey boasts some of the greatest golf courses in the world such as Baltusrol, Trump National and Springfield. These courses have the national publicity but we were lucky enough to play at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club, which has 54 holes of amazing golf. Playing at a yardage of 6,910 yards with five par-3's and five par-5's, I knew fireworks were in store for us and I was lucky enough to witness the barrage of birdies on the final nine holes of the 36-hole event.
Through one round of golf and multiple three-putts, we stood in second place behind a talented team from Temple University. Temple boasts one of the top-ranked golfers in the country, Brandon Matthews, who recently was a quarterfinalist in the 2013 USGA Amateur.
The second day was our day, though. The first six holes were shaky at best, but Alex Gaugert and Matt Rachey both helped our team with a solid start of even par through those holes. The next 12 holes proved to me that we have a team that will contend for a championship in every event going forward.
The fireworks started on hole 11. Trasamar made eagle, while Mendez, Lowenstein and Gaugert followed with birdies. Putts were falling that hadn't earlier this fall, and in the end our back-nine scoring amounted to 10 under par! Jon Trasamar would finish with 11 putts for a back nine of 29, which would propel him to a final round of 66. Our next four scores were as follows: Gaugert (71), Mendez (71), Rachey (72) and Lowenstein (72). The balance in our lineup is evident with our highest score of the entire tournament being 2-over-par 74. Congratulations go out to Jon Trasamar, who was named Big Ten Player of the Week following the Seton Hall performance! Also a special shout out to Matt Rachey, who competed like a veteran in his first collegiate tournament.
Gopher Golf is certainly on the rise and competition is alive and well in practice and qualifying. We leave for Kiawah Island to play the Jack Nicklaus-designed, Turtle Point Golf Club, in 10 days. Qualifying will be over three rounds at Southview Country Club (home of the Tapemark Charity Pro Am every June), Interlachen CC (home of many USGA Championships) and Wayzata CC (home of PGA Tour player Tim Herron). Two spots will be up for grabs among Tyler Lowenstein, Matt Rachey, Jon DuToit, Charlie Braniff, Daniel Luftspring and Genki Hirayama.
Between college classes, the Minnesota vs. Nebraska football game, practice and qualifying, rest assured the balance between student and athlete is alive and well in the friendly confines of the Bierman Building for Gopher Golf.
Fairways, Fairways, Fairways!
Player Feature: Jon Trasamar (R-Sr./Blue Earth, Minn./Blue Earth HS)
GopherSports: What are your goals for the season?
Jon Trasamar: My goals for this season include an individual win and All-American honors. I want to set my goals high this last year.
GS: What is your favorite course in the Twinc Cities?
JT: My favorite Twin Cities course is Hazeltine because it's the biggest, best test we have in the state. IT's the only one where the best in the world play.
GS: What is the biggest strength of your game?
JT: The strength of my game is my short game, including chipping, pitching and bunker play.
GS: Do you have a favorite club in your bag?
JT: My favorite club in my bag is my 58 degree wedge and my 3 iron.
GS: Is there anything interesting you carry around in your bag?
JT: I carry all my different color sharpies in my bag to mark my ball before the round.
GS: What is your favorite part of being a Golden Gopher?
JT: My favorite thing about being a Gopher is to represent my home state, as well as all the previous Gopher golfers to play here. It's an honor to be a Gopher and a part of the Gopher golf program.
2013 Scoring Averages (Rounds Played)
Matt Rachey..................................72.50 (2)
Jose Mendez ................................73.21 (14)
Jon Trasamar................................73.79 (14)
Alex Gaugert ................................74.00 (14)
Gophers freshman Hudson Fasching is tied for the Big Ten rookie scoring lead.
We caught up with freshman Hudson Fasching to get to know a little more about him as he continues his first campaign with the Gopher men's hockey team.
Through four games this season, Fasching is tied with teammate Justin Kloos for the Big Ten rookie scoring lead with six points (two goals and four assists). The native of Burnsville, Minn. was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Draft and comes to the Gophers with plenty of high-level experience after spending two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team Program. Hudson will be counted on to use his size and add toughness to the Gophers this season.
What does it mean to you to play for the Gophers?
"I am a Minnesotan, born and raised. I grew up around Mariucci my whole life watching Gopher games and finally being able to put the jersey on means the world to me."
Describe the type of game you like to play for people who may not know you?
"I am a power forward. I go in the corners and like to grind it out. I want to bring pucks to the net hard and just play hard in general."
Is there an NHL player you like to watch and model your game after?
"Yeah! David Backes of the St. Louis Blues. I like to model my game after him. He plays hard in all aspects of the game, and that is what I like to model from him."
We're just a few weeks into the season, but you seem to have found some success playing alongside Sam Warning and Kyle Rau. How has that experience been?
"Coming in as a younger guy on the team, it's great to be able to play with two of the veterans on this team. They're good at moving the puck around and setting up scoring chances, and we've had some success so far. They're both great players, and they're great examples for me in terms of how I want to develop as a player."
You spent the last two seasons playing with the USA Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., how did the experience help your game develop?
"Being away from home for a couple years around great coaching and great teammates really helps me mature a lot as a person and as a player. It is very competitive over there. Bringing all those aspects to Minnesota will be huge for me."
You had the opportunity to travel to some cool places with the USA Development Program. Which was your favorite?
"I got to go to Sochi, Russia for the Under-18 World Championships. Just the experience of being in another country, eating their food, and being in their culture is eye opening. You don't really know what it is like over there until you get there. It was a really fun experience."
You played at Apple Valley High School with fellow Gopher A.J. Michaelson. What does it mean to be playing with him again?
"Yeah! A.J. and I grew up together. We played all through youth hockey together. It is awesome that I get to play with one of my childhood buddies out here. It should be a lot of fun. Hopefully, we can get on a line together sometime during the year."
What kind of music do you like to listen to before the game?
"I am a rocker type of guy. Just anything that gets be going is good for me. "
What are some of the nicknames you have received from guys on the team?
"Some of the guys call me Huddy-Buddy, but most of the guys just call me Fasch."
Minnesota welcomes Boston College to Mariucci Arena this weekend for a two-game series. The No. 1 Gophers will face a stiff test from No. 5 Boston College. The Eagles come to the Twin Cities soaring high after dispatching Wisconsin, 9-2, last Friday night in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Coach Don Lucia and members of the team met with the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss the clash with another member of college hockey's elite.
Boston College features another crop of dynamic playmakers this season. "They are going to be skilled and fast. We need to play our game and use our speed to hang with them all weekend," defenseman Brady Skjei said. Lucia knows the Gophers must value puck possession. "(Boston College's) transition game is really good. If you make a mistake with the puck you are going to pay."
Boston College's ability to post nine goals against Wisconsin caught the eyes of Gopher coaches and players. "They scored nine five-on-five goals, which is not easy to do," Lucia said. "(Our defensemen) are going to get tested this week. They are going to get tested taking care of the puck coming up the rink and down low defending."
Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox was surprised to see Boston College's overwhelming success against the Badgers and knows he will be tested. "I have to be on top of my game. I have to be communicating with the defensemen and be good right in front of our net."
This week, Minnesota took over the nation's number one ranking in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll from Miami University. The players and coaches did their best to downplay early-season rankings. "It is something to look at, but not something to put too much on right now," Wilcox said.
The early success of the top-two lines is based on the immediate contribution of the freshmen. Lucia said the genesis of Hudson Fasching playing on the top line started in the summer. "He showed me something at the World Junior camp when I had the opportunity to be on the ice with him that week,"-- second-line center Justin Kloos has really impressed line mate, and captain, Nate Condon with his commitment to do all the little things. "(Justin) is obviously talented offensively, but the big thing with him is that he is a big, hard worker."
This weekend's series takes place on Friday and Sunday with Gopher football home Saturday afternoon. Friday's hockey contest is at 7:10 p.m. CT and can be seen nationally on the Big Ten Network. Sunday's game takes place at 1:10 p.m. CT and will be shown on Fox Sports North. Both games this weekend can be heard on 1500 ESPN and will be streamed on BTN2Go.com.
-Story By University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock
On March 23, 2013, Minnesota head coach Don Lucia was named the head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team by USA Hockey. With Lucia behind the bench, the Red, White and Blue will compete at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.
In addition to Lucia, five current Gophers are competing for a roster spot on next year's U.S. squad. Sophomore defenseman Brady Skjei, freshman forward Hudson Fasching, freshman forward Taylor Cammarata and freshman defenseman Michael Brodzinski are currently participating at the 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. Freshman defenseman Tommy Vannelli is also in the hunt for a roster spot for the U.S. team.
Next year, the U.S. program will seek its fourth medal in five years including a gold-medal performance in 2013 with Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly on the roster and assistant coach Grant Potulny on staff. As the tournament approaches, Gophersports.com will provide updates using "Eyes on Sweden".
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey announced today that the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team will hold a four-day training camp Dec. 15-18 in Minneapolis. Five practices are scheduled at the University of Minnesota's Mariucci Arena, while a pre-tournament game at Minnesota State University is set for Dec. 17. Team USA will defend its gold medal at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden, Dec. 26, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014.
The preliminary roster for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team will be unveiled in early December.
From Minneapolis, training camp will move on to Angelholm, Sweden, Dec. 19-23. The U.S. will play pre-tournament games Dec. 20 vs. Sweden and Dec. 22 vs. Finland. The final 23-player U.S. National Junior Team roster will be announced Dec. 23.
In August, 44 players attended the 2013 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. Complete details from that camp can be found here.
NOTES: Practices at Mariucci Arena will be open to the public ... Team USA has medaled in three of the last four IIHF World Junior Championships, winning gold in 2010 and 2013, plus bronze in 2011 ... Don Lucia(Plymouth, Minn.), head coach of the University of Minnesota men's ice hockey team, was named head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team on March 23. Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn.), head coach of the St. Cloud State University men's ice hockey team, Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass.), associate head coach of the Boston College men's ice hockey team, and David Lassonde (Denver, Colo.), assistant coach of the University of Denver men's ice hockey team, will serve as assistant coaches. The video coordinator isDan Muse (Clinton, Conn.), assistant coach of Yale University's men's ice hockey team ... Jim Johannson(Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the fifth consecutive year ... Don Waddell (Detroit, Mich.), an international consultant to USA Hockey, is assisting with player identification for Team USA Team USA will compete in a group with Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. For more information about the tournament, click here.
2014 U.S. National Junior Team Training Camp Schedule Dec. 15-23 | Minneapolis, Minn. & Malmo, Sweden