EXHIBITION: University of North Dakota vs. Minnesota
Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 at 7 p.m. CT
Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS - After beginning preseason practices last week, the University of Minnesota women's soccer team will host the University of North Dakota in an exhibition match on Friday, August 15 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The exhibition match will kick off at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
The young Maroon and Gold squad lost four starters from 2013 but will return their top five scorers including leading scorer senior captain, Katie Thyken, who had seven goals a year ago. The Gophers also return 2013 Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year in sophomore Tarah Hobbs who had a standout rookie campaign with 122 saves and numerous conference honors.
Despite the graduation of defenders MacKenzie Misel and Lauren Bauer and forward Steph Brandt in 2013, Minnesota has a strong class of freshman talent joining the ranks for the 2014 season. The nine incoming freshman, including Rachel McCloskey who trained with the Gophers in the spring, will make an immediate impact on the team as the Gophers look to improve on last year's 11-8-2 record.
Stefanie Golan is entering her third season as the Gophers head coach with an overall record of 22-15-4 over the past two seasons. The Maroon and Gold return associate head coach and former Gopher defender Krystle Seidel and assistant coach Deana Waintraub. New to the staff are MacKenzie Misel who will serve as volunteer assistant coach and Tam Strahota as director of soccer operations. Both new hires are former Gopher standouts.
With the regular season just a week away, the Big Ten Conference announced the 2014 Big Ten Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll and Players to Watch List. Minnesota was chosen to finish the season eleventh in the conference while Thyken, Hobbs and sophomore Josee Stiever were tabbed as players to watch throughout the season.
The Gophers will open regular season competition next weekend as they travel to Florida to take on Stetson on Friday evening and national runner-up Florida State on Sunday afternoon. Minnesota will host Marquette and South Dakota State University the weekend of Aug. 29 at the Robbie.
Fans can follow Gopher Soccer on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram during the season for the most up-to-date information from on and off the field. Live game updates can be found by following Gopher Soccer on Twitter @GopherSoccer.
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