Four University of Minnesota women's soccer players will compete in the inaugural season for the Minnesota Lightning in the United Soccer Leagues W- League. Molly Schneider, Lindsey Schwartz, Kaitlin Wagner and Kelsey Hood have all been named to the team. The Lightning kick off the season against the London Gryphons at the National Sports Center in Blaine on May 27.
A senior in 2005, Schneider became only the second goalkeeper in Golden Gopher history to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors after breaking the school's single-season goals- against-average last year. Schwartz, Wagner and Hood will all be sophomores for Minnesota in 2006. Schwartz was Minnesota's Offensive MVP after leading the team in scoring. Wagner was Minnesota's Midfield MVP after finishing fourth on the team in scoring. Hood earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team as the Golden Gophers boasted the Big Ten's best defense.
"I am excited to have a competitive environment during the summer here in Minnesota," Schneider said. "It will be a great atmosphere to play in, great for the game of soccer throughout the State.”
“I am really looking forward to the training environment, and playing with so many other talented players," Wagner said. "It will be a great way to prepare me for the fall.”
The Lightning will play a total of 14 regular-season games, including four at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, home of the Golden Gopher women's soccer team. Minnesota will face Cleveland on June 7 at 7:05 p.m. Other games will include June 21 vs. Chicago, June 30 vs. Cincinnati, July 2 vs. Fort Wayne Fever.