In the fifth part of our comprehensive season preview of the 2007 Minnesota Soccer season, we break down the Golden Gophers' goalkeeping situation. Look for more previews throughout the week at gophersports.com.
After losing All-Big Ten First Team selection Molly Schnieder and her 0.65 goals-against-average following the 2005 season, Minnesota debuted a pair of new goalkeepers in the net a year ago. Despite their inexperience, both Lindsey Dare and Chelsey Turner showed flashes of brilliance, as the Gophers still allowed just 1.80 goals per game in conference play. Turner and Dare will again battle it out for the starting spot this fall.
“We’re going to do whatever their play dictates,” Denney Wright said. “I really like to go with one goalkeeper, but last year they were so even that we didn’t feel that was the fair thing to do. We’re going to do whatever is fair, but we would really like one goalkeeper to clearly step ahead and lead us in the Big Ten season.
“It’s good to have that competition because it’s a healthy competition,” Denney Wright continued about the battle between the junior (Dare) and sophomore (Turner). “Both of them have developed a tremendous amount and now have experience under their belts. They both have a hunger to be the starting goalkeeper and the potential to be among the top goalkeepers in the Big Ten.”
Freshman Katie Roberts, an all-state selection out of Apple Valley, Minn., will provide depth in goal. “She has great athleticism, and we’re going to be able to refine her game in the next year,” said Denney Wright about Roberts.
The newest addition to the Gophers’ coaching staff, former Kentucky assistant Jerrod Roh, specializes in teaching goalkeepers. He coached the Wildcats’ Anne Ogundele to multiple All-American accolades last season and brings with him a proven track record for developing talent in the net.
“Jerrod is going to bring with him a wealth of experience, and that is going to be extremely valuable this year,” Denney Wright said.
COMING NEXT: Schedule preview