OMAHA, NEB. - The University of Minnesota soccer team powered their way past Creighton in a 1-0 exhibition victory to start their 25th season as a Division I program.
April Bockin strung together a series of moves before she put the ball in the back of the net 64 minutes into the contest. Head Coach Stefanie Golan said the win is a great way to start the season.
"We were able to create many opportunities today, I was happy to be able to start the season off with a win and a shutout. This is a great starting point for the team to be able to move forward in a positive direction."
After feeling one another out, the Gophers strung together eight straight shots on the Bluejays, including a near goal by freshman Athena Kuehn with her shot going off the crossbar.
At the end of the first half, Minnesota held the shot advantage 8-1, and had six corners to Creighton's zero.
In the second half, the Gophers came out with a mission. Three shots came within the first four minutes including a header by Megan Koenig that was saved.
In goal for Minnesota was junior Kailee Sharp, who was starting her first game in a Minnesota uniform. Sharp made her lone save of the afternoon 60 minutes into the game.
Bockin made use of her opportunity at minute 64. She entered the top of the box and fired a right-footed strike to the top left corner to give the Gophers the lead. Last season Bockin scored seven goals in just 18 games.
After the goal, Minnesota did not take their foot off the gas pedal. Nine shots came after the Bockin goal, giving the Maroon and Gold a 23-2 advantage in shots by the time the game reached its end.
Minnesota also kept the Bluejays away from corner kicks. The team ended the game with nine to Creighton's zero.
Three different Gophers finished with three shots. Senior Sydney Squires, captain Emily Heslin and Kuehn each led in shots. Bockin made use of her only shot in the game, and four Minnesota Golden Gophers had two shots including TJ McKendrick, Celina Nummerdor, Kellie McGahn and Hugrun Fridriksdottir.
Minnesota also did a remarkable job at staying onside. This was the first time in four games the Gophers did not commit an offside penalty. Coach Golan says the team did a great job at staying composed.
"Kailee (Sharp) made only one save tonight, but that was because of how we were able to keep the ball for long stretches. We did a great job at staying patient today."
The Bluejays finished with two shots, one of them being on goal. McKenzie Meola, Ellizabeth Bolland and Katie Sullivan combined to secure five saves for the Bluejays.
Up next will be an exhibition match at home against Kansas State. That game is scheduled for August 11 at 7 p.m. at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.
Make sure to follow the Gophers soccer team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so you do not miss anything this season!
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