Aug. 28, 2011
Freshman Taylor Uhl notched the only goal that the University of Minnesota women's soccer team would need in a 1-0 win over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday afternoon to cap off the Golden Gophers' road trip through Southern California.
The Maroon and Gold (2-2-0), who were coming off a poor performance versus San Diego State, exploded in the first half on the Gauchos (1-2-1) by pumping out 11 shots. UCSB's defense held strong against the Gophers' pressure until the 26th minute when Nicole Baier found Taylor Uhl streaking by the UCSB backline.
Baier began the attack by intercepting an errant pass by the Gaucho midfield, and then serviced the ball behind the UCSB backline where Uhl ran down the pass and started attacking Makenna Henry, the Gauchos' goalkeeper. As the freshman entered the box, Henry came out to face Uhl, but the striker from Eden Prairie, Minn. juked Henry for an easy tap to the lower left corner of the goal for the eventual game winner.
The Gophers' kept the Gauchos on their heels for the first half and would carry a 1-0 lead into the break.
After not allowing UCSB to get a shot off in the first half, Minnesota continued to give up very few opportunities in the second half. The Gauchos became impatient and started taking shots from beyond the 18-yard box, but UCSB's desperate attempts to score didn't dwindle the Maroon and Gold's lead.
In the second half, the Golden Gophers recorded a pair of great offensive attacks, but their chances to stretch their 1-0 lead were halted.
In the 50th minute, captain Shari Eckstrom fed freshman Katie Thyken a ball at the top of the box, but Thyken's clear shot on goal would hook wide right.
Uhl was back on the hunt for a second goal in the 64th when she garnered another face off with Henry. Again, Uhl won the match up. This time by chipping the ball over the keeper, but the hopeful goal was denied when a Gaucho defender cleared the ball before it could reach the goal line.
Minnesota would have to settle for a 1-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara.
"We are very proud of how the team rebounded today," said head coach Mikki Denney Wright. "We made some adjustments today, and the team had a dominating performance. This group has great potential, and we are excited to see how they grow."
Cat Parkhill orchestrated a Golden Gopher defense that allowed only six total shots with three of them being saved by the junior goalkeeper. Meanwhile, Henry faced 18 Gopher attempts with seven of them being on goal.
Minnesota now returns to Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium to host the Minnesota Gold Classic this coming weekend. The action begins on Friday with Iowa State and UW-Milwaukee kicking off at 4:30 p.m. while the Gophers take on Georgia at 7 p.m. Sunday's matches will begin with ISU taking on Georgia at 10:30 a.m. followed by the Maroon and Gold and UW-Milwaukee at 1 p.m.