Oct. 31, 2013
BOX SCORE (PDF):
RECORDS: University of Minnesota (11-6-2, 4-5-2 Big Ten); Illinois (10-7-2, 5-5-1 Big Ten)
The University of Minnesota Golden Gopher soccer team finished the regular season by hosting Big Ten foe, Illinois, at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Thursday afternoon. Both teams were playing to win as the Big Ten Tournament hopes were on the line.
The Gophers, who were coming off two much-needed conference road wins against Wisconsin and Purdue, were unable to stop the Illini who were able to rise to a 3-1 victory over the Golden Gophers.
After an evenly matched first half, the Golden Gophers were able to strike first with a goal by Haley Helverson in the 54th minute. Helverson, who brought the ball from midfield herself, was able to beat the keeper and put the ball in the right corner of the net. This goal put the Gophers up 1-0. Illinois would score three unanswered goals in the second half and hold off the Gophers attack to come out on top. Goals for Illinois included an unassisted goal by Jannelle Flas who lead the Illini with 8 shots, 4 of them on goal as well as a goal by Casey Conine and an own goal by Minnesota.
During the game, the Gophers lost midfielders Josee Steiver and Katie Thyken to injuries. Stiever was able to re-enter the game for the Gophers while leading scorer, Thyken, sat the remainder of the game on the bench.
The Gophers will now have to wait out the weekend to see if they will make the Big Ten Conference tournament that is set to start next Thursday in Champaign, Ill. Time will only tell if the Gophers will have the opportunity to participate in post-season play.
The victory puts Minnesota at 11-6-2 (4-5-2 Big Ten) to finish out the 2013 season.
GOPHER STAND OUT PERFORMANCES
Haley Helverson, a sophomore forward, was able to net her fourth goal of the season for the Golden Gophers. She also scored the game winner against Wisconsin last week and has really found her scoring stride the past few weekends. She now has the second most goals for the Golden Gophers and ties for shots with Katie Thyken.
Despite allowing three goals, freshman goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs, was able to make six saves in the match against Illinois. This brings her to 114 on the season and she ends regular play tied for the third-most saves with Molly Schneider (2005).
WHAT IS NEXT:
That's a good question. What's next for the Golden Gophers? They hope the outcome of the other five Big Ten games will land them in the Big Ten Tournament and maybe even the NCAA tournament. Only time will tell.
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Gophers in the Polls: Oct. 11
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