The University of Minnesota soccer team wrapped up its 2007 spring season with a win and a tie on Sunday at the Gopher Spring Classic at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The Golden Gophers defeated Big Ten foe Northwestern, 3-2, before playing to a scoreless tie against North Dakota State.
Sara Clancy tallied three points with a pair of goals, including the game-winner, and an assist and earned All-Tournament Team honors along with teammate Lindsey Schwartz, who had a goal and an assist.
Clancy scored the game-winner against the Wildcats with just under three minutes remaining in the game, chipping a shot over Northwestern goalkeeper Lauren Johnston, who came off her line to defend the shot. It was Clancy’s second goal of the game and broke a 2-2 tie to give the Gophers the victory.
Minnesota got on the board midway through the first half with Clancy’s first goal. Kelly Wepking started the play by with a deep pass from the midfield to Schwartz, who maneuvered down the right side of the field and got in deep near the end line before serving a cross to a wide open Clancy, who had an easy finish right in front of the goal to put the Gophers up 1-0, a lead which they held until the intermission.
The trio of Clancy, Wepking and Schwartz paired up again 10 minutes into the second half to give Minnesota a two-goal lead. Clancy sent a pass across the box to Wepking on the right side, who then threaded a pass in traffic into Schwartz, who finished from point-blank range.
Northwestern stormed back to tie the game, scoring a pair of goals four minutes apart midway through the second half. The Wildcats cut the lead to one with a goal from Zendzi Neal, who chipped it into an open net from the left side of the box on a feed from Jenny Dunn.
Four minutes later, Dunn provided the equalizer with a goal of her own to knot the game at two apiece to set up the late-game heroics for Clancy.
The Gophers out-shot the Wildcats 10-5 in the game and generated the better scoring chances except for the short stretch midway through the second half. Chelsey Turner needed just three saves to get the win in goal.
In the second game, Minnesota battled North Dakota State to a scoreless tie, with the Gophers out-shooting the Bison 9-5.
Three of Minnesota’s nine shots came on a scramble in the box with six minutes remaining. Clancy recovered a loose ball in front of the net and fired a shot from point-blank range, but NDSU goalkeeper Monica Morgan made the save. The rebound came back to the Gophers, who put two more shots on net, but Morgan received some help from her defense in keeping Minnesota off the scoreboard to maintain the tie.
Turner and Lindsey Dare combined for the shutout for the Gophers. Turner made two saves in the first half, while Dare stopped three NDSU shots in the second.
NDSU had the first serious scoring opportunity of the game following a penalty on the Gophers. The Bison sent a high ball off the free kick towards the net. Turner stretched to make the initial save but the ball skipped towards the goal with an NDSU attacker closing in. Kelsey Hood made a nice play to cover the empty net and keep the Bison off the board.
Minnesota’s best chance in the early going came when Schwartz got out on a breakaway, slipped a defender and fired a shot from a tight angle on the left side, but Morgan was again there to make a nice save.
Neither team generated a lot of quality scoring chances in the second half until the scramble in front of the box, but the Gophers were unable to capitalize and settled for a 0-0 tie.
In other games, NDSU defeated UW-Green Bay 4-0, Northwestern downed South Dakota State 2-0 before the Jackrabbits rebounded to shut out UWGB, 2-0.
Two players from each team were named to the All-Tournament Team. In addition to Clancy and Schwartz from Minnesota, Morgan and Lorraine Thompson were selected from NDSU, Ali Rubnitz and Shannon Schneeman from Northwestern, Nicole Lograsso and Kelly Larson from SDSU, and Claire Townsend and Lotte Rasmussen from UWGB.
More than 500 fans were in attendance for the five-team, five-game tournament which saw action on both fields of Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The Golden Goal Booster Club provided hospitality and handed out fliers promoting the 2007 season, highlighted by the Big Ten Tournament coming to Minnesota.All-Tournament Team
Sara Clancy, Minnesota
Lindsey Schwartz, Minnesota
Monica Morgan, NDSU
Lorraine Thompson, NDSU
Ali Rubnitz, Northwestern
Shannon Schneeman, Northwestern
Nicole Lograsso, SDSU
Kally Larson, SDSU
Claire Townsend, UWGB
Lotte Rasmussen, UWGB