The Golden Gopher women’s soccer team has announced its 2008 spring schedule, which features five play dates and seven matches against some of the nation’s top competition. The Gophers’ first spring game will take place on Friday, Feb. 29 against the defending national champion USC Trojans in Los Angeles, Calf.
In addition to their opening battle with the Trojans, the Gophers will play two other contests with programs that ended the season in the Soccer Times Top-25, and two more teams that were ranked in their respective regions. In the final rankings for 2007, USC finished first en route to their national title, while the Toreros of San Diego made the NCAA tournament and finished 15-3-3 overall. Missouri advanced to the second round of the national tournament and was ranked 22nd in the final poll.
After their opening battle with USC, the Gophers will stay on the West Coast for the weekend and play the University of San Diego on Sunday, March 2. Minnesota’s next spring matches will take place March 30 when they travel to Lincoln, Neb. for games with the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Kansas Jayhawks.
April 12, the Gophers will take on the Missouri Tigers in Overland Park, Kan. before returning home to host the Minnesota Spring Classic on April 19 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The Saturday event will feature four matches, with Minnesota scheduled to play North Dakota State at 9:00 a.m. and South Dakota State at 3:45 p.m.
Minnesota Spring Classic matches will feature two 35-minute halves and a 10-minute intermission.
“All of the teams we play this spring will present a great challenge for our players,” said Denney Wright. “USC, San Diego and Missouri are all NCAA teams that return nearly every starter from last season.”
“This will be a great opportunity for our players to compete against some of the nation’s top competition,” said the Gopher head coach.
Click here for a complete spring schedule.
Last season, Minnesota finished with a 9-8-2 overall record and qualified for the Big Ten Tournament for the second time in the past three seasons. The Gophers will return every starter from last year’s team that finished second in the Big Ten in shots and scored 31 goals, the program’s highest total since 1999.