In an eight-part series this summer, Gophersports.com will correspond with each of the eight Gopher soccer seniors to catch up and chat about everything from their favorite munchies to their most poignant Minnesota soccer memories. The 2008 seniors are the first group to play their entire careers under head coach Mikki Denney Wright.
This year’s senior class, which includes six players from Minnesota and two more from the state of Iowa, are a prime example of the focus that Denney Wright and her coaching staff have put on keeping the best home-grown Midwestern and Minnesotan talent at the U and sporting Maroon and Gold during their college careers.
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Lindsey Dare (Apple Valley, Minn.) is the Gophers’ most experienced returning goalkeeper for the 2008 season, having split time in goal her sophomore year and missing much of the first half of the 2007 season to an injury. In just six starts in 2007, Dare recorded three shutouts where she won consecutive 1-0 contests against Big Ten conference foes Penn State (10/21), Northwestern (10/26) and Wisconsin (10/28) that helped the Gophers secure their second Big Ten Tournament berth in three seasons.
A 2004 graduate of Apple Valley High School, Dare was not only an accomplished three-sport athlete, but also served as team captain for soccer, basketball and track and field teams as a senior. Between her three sports, Dare earned 10 athletic letters during her prep career. In addition to garnering all-state, all-metro and all-conference honors her senior year on the soccer pitch, Dare also helped the Eagles track and field team to a MSHSL state championship in 2004. Dare and her twin sister Gina, who also attends the U’ and has competed on the Minnesota track and field team, combined forces to help Apply Valley to True Team track and field state championships in 2003 and 2004.
After sitting out her freshman season, Dare began her highly successful career as a Gopher keeper during her sophomore campaign. Dare recorded shutouts in each of her first three starts in 2006 and was in goal for six of the Gophers’ eight 2006 victories. Her 0.93 GAA ranked sixth in the Big Ten. After a school record 15-save effort in a 2-2 tie against Brown (9/10/06), Dare was named the Big Ten’s Co-Defensive Player of the Week. With 101 saves during the 2006 campaign, Dare ranks fifth on the Gophers’ all-time list for saves in a season.
The owner of a career 0.90 GAA, Dare needs only to log another 200:25 as the Gopher keeper to qualify for the school record books. The school’s all-time GAA leader is Molly Schneider who surrendered just a 1.12 GAA in 37 games. Dare is also fifth on the Gophers’ all-time list with seven shutouts in just 20 games.
Although Dare’s performance on the field has been significant, Gopher coaches are quick to emphasize that her most valuable attribute for the team is her leadership. During her time at Minnesota, Dare has been a team captain and a member of the Minnesota Soccer Leadership Council for each of the past three seasons.
“Lindsey Dare is the positive life force of Minnesota Soccer,” coach Denny Wright said. “She has grown tremendously as a soccer player over the past four years, and at the same time has been such a wonderful role model for her teammates. She is committed not only to being a great player, but more importantly, she is dedicated to being a great human being. It has been an honor to have her as part of our program. She has made a wonderful impact on Minnesota Soccer.”
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Gophersports.com: What are you up to this summer?
Lindsey Dare: I’m living in South Carolina this summer. I’m here with a college ministry group called Campus Outreach. A group of about 100 students and Campus Outreach staff come down here and move into a motel. We get jobs during the day and at night we listen to talks about different aspects of Christianity. In addition, all the athletes here work out together every day. I’m one of the leaders of that group of athletes. As a leader, I’m responsible for organizing the athletes and for making sure everyone gets there on time. I’ve written a few workout programs for some of the people, and I lead some of the athletes through the workouts to keep them accountable so they can accomplish their goals for the summer.
GS: What has been your favorite memory during your career thus far as a Gopher?
LD: Watching [Kaitlin Wagner] hit the shot to beat Penn State [with a free kick in double-overtime to give the Gophers a 1-0 victory] last year was pretty sweet. She had been working on those free kicks every single day after practice. Seeing all that work pay off the way it did was amazing.
GS: What non-Gopher sports team do you root for the hardest?
LD: The Apple Valley High School Track and Field team.
GS: Do you have a favorite Premier League team?
LD: Nope. I just like to watch the games and make fun of the guys who fall over crying every time somebody touches them.
GS: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
LD: Chips, salsa and March Madness doubleheaders.
GS: What is your favorite on-campus restaurant?
LD: I’ve probably eaten at Bruegger’s more than anywhere else, and I still love it. But wing night at Burrito Loco is the best night of the week!
GS: Have you seen a movie recently that you would recommend?
LD: Gladiator is my all-time favorite movie and I watched it last week, so I’ll recommend that. It’s amazing.
GS: This year’s seniors are the first group to play their entire careers under Coach Mikki Denney Wright. What has your experience with Coach Mikki and your senior class meant to you?
LD: I think I’ve learned and grown more in the last four years than I have in the rest of my life combined. I’ve learned what it really means to work hard, to be disciplined, to deal with adversity and to do what it takes to make a team better. I’ve been so blessed to be a part of this program and to be surrounded by all these incredible people. I can’t wait to finish out my career playing my favorite game out on the field with all my favorite people.