After a tough, season-opening loss to fourth-ranked Notre Dame last Friday, the Minnesota women's soccer team heads back into non-conference action this week against a trio Southeastern opponents. The Gophers (0-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 Big Ten) take on Vanderbilt this Friday (8/27) at 7 p.m. (CST) in Nashville before following up with a Sunday matinee game on Sunday at Western Kentucky at 1 p.m. Minnesota closes the trip with a 1 p.m. contest against Belmont on Tuesday (8/31).
LAST TIME OUT
Minnesota opened the 2010 season with a 1-0 loss to fourth-ranked Notre Dame on Aug. 20. In goal for the Gophers, Cat Parkhill made seven saves in the contest before giving up the winning goal in the 79th minute.
IN THE PAST
Minnesota only has one previous meeting with the Commodores -- a 1-0 non-conference win ion Sept. 3, 2004. The win came at a neutral site as the game was played in Birmingham, Ala. This week's games mark the first games Minnesota has played against both Western Kentucky and Belmont.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
All three of this week's games will feature live stats and a running blog. Follow the Golden Gophers at Gophersports.com. Links to live stats can be found on the schedule page while the live blog will be go online just before game time.
RETURN TO THE ROBBIE
Minnesota hosts its home opener onl Friday, Sept. 3 when the Gophers play UC-Santa Barbara as part of the Minnesota Gold Classic. Minnesota will take on San Diego in its second matchup of the tournament on Sept. 5. Marquette is the fourth team participating in the Minnesota Gold Classic although the Golden Gophers won't meet the Golden Eagles on the field.
- Opened the season with a 5-1 win over UAB on 8/20 after tying Belmont 4-4 in an exhibition matchup.
- Posted an 11-8-1 record in 2009 finishing seventh in the SEC.
- Went 14-1 at home in 2009.
- Coached by Ronnie Woodard (Duke, 1992)
- Return nine starters and 19 letter winners.
- Leading scorers
Dana Schwartz ......................5 pts (2G/1A)
Candace West ........................4 pts (2G/0A)
Nicole Adams..........................2 pts (1G/0A)
- Leading Goalkeeper
Rachel Bachtel ............................1GA, 0 sv
SCOUTING WESTERN KENTUCKY
- Opened the season with a 3-0 loss to Tennessee on Aug. 20 after going 1-0-1 in exhibition games (1-0 win over Butler and 1-1 tie against Memphis).
- Posted an 14-4-2 overall record in 2009 and finished 9-2 in the Sun Belt Conference ot tie for second.
- Went 8-2 at home in 2009.
- Coached by Jason Neidell (Yale, 1994)
- Return five starters and 14 letter winners.
- Top returning scorers (2009 stats)
Mallory Outerbridge..............15 pts (7G/1A)
Kaylyn Pratt ..........................14 pts (7G/0A)
- Leading Goalkeeper
Libby Stout ............9 GA, 0.60 GAA, 7 SHO
- After Belmont's season opener against Missouri was cancelled due to rain, the Bruins dropped a 2-1 double-overtime thriller to Southeast Missouri State on Aug. 22.
- Posted a 10-6-4 overall record and finished with a 6-1-3 conference record to win the Atlantic Sun Confernece.
- Coached by Lisa Howe (Barry, 1991)
- Return eight starters.
- Leading returning scorers (2009 stats)
Jayme Trocino....................23 pts (10G/3A)
Jamie Loftis ............................7 pts (3G/1A)
Jessica Rix ............................7 pts (2G/3A)
- Leading Goalkeeper
Sari Lin ..................14 GA, 78 sv, 0.72 GAA
Four seniors will serve as captains on the 2010 Gophers squad. Jennie Clark, Katie Bethke, Kyle Kallman and Molly Rouse were selected by their teammates to lead the team on the field.
BIG TEN PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Penn State
2. Ohio State
4. Michigan State
EYES ON CLARK
Senior defender Jennie Clark was named to the watch list for the 2010 Hermann Trophy - given annually to the top women's college soccer player in the country. Clark is the first Gopher ever selected to the list, which is voted on by college coaches who are current members of the NSCAA.
BETTING ON BETHKE
Katie Bethke enters her senior season with 59 career points (20G/19A), making her Minnesota's active scoring leader. Bethke is also the Gophers' top returner from the 2009 season when she rattled off a career-high 29 points (11G/7A)
The 2010 roster features a group of seven seniors that have been one of the program's most successful senior classes. The group helped Minnesota win its third Big Ten title in 2008 as sophomores as well as earn its first-ever Sweet Sixteen appearance later that year.
BACK FOR MORE
Last year as a freshman, goalkeeper Cat Parkhill earned Honorable Mention to the TopDrawerSoccer.com All-Rookie Team after setting program records for freshman goalkeepers. The Apple Valley, Minn. native set first-year records in minutes played (1808:51), goals against average (0.70), wins (12) and shutouts (nine). Her season statistics also rank among the top-five all-time season performances at Minnesota including her 0.70 GAA, which is second only to Lindsey Dare's 0.45 GAA in 2008.
Five newcomers will be on Minnesota's roster in 2010 with the addition of four freshmen and a transfer. The incoming freshmen are MacKenzie Misel, Mary O'Brien, Alex Koller and Lauren Bauer. Meanwhile, sophomore forward Nicole Baier was a D-II All-American at UNO before transferring to Minnesota.