Gophers Top Vanderbilt 2-1 Shari Eckstrom and Katie Shelander picked up goals for Minnesota.
The Minnesota women's soccer team picked up its first win of the season on Friday in a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Vanderbilt. Junior midfielder Shari Eckstrom tallied the first Gophers goal of the 2010 campaign after the Commodores took an early lead before senior forward Katie Shelander added the eventual game winner midway through the first half.
"I thought it was a good battle. It was good for our team to go down a goal and then come back," Minnesota head coach Mikki Denney Wright said. "The final third is getting much better for us, so we are excited about that. And I thought our defensive mid and our back three had a good second half. Vanderbilt's a good team, and it was a great battle. I was proud of the way we responded after the goal and how we played the second half."
The Commodores took an early lead in their home opener when sophomore CJ Rhoades hit set up senior Megan Kinsella with a long pass down the right side. Kinsella put Vanderbilt up 1-0 when she dribbled down to the six-yard box and snuck a low shot inside the near post.
The lead wouldn't last long, however, as junior midfielder Shari Eckstrom evened the score 63 seconds later with her first goal of the year. Junior forward Tamara Strahota fed Eckstrom behind the Vanderbilt defense where Eckstrom slid a low shot into the back of the net. Minnesota (1-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 Big Ten) then broke the tie in the 36th minute when senior forward Katie Shelander slipped a shot into the side netting after a setup pass from senior midfielder Katie Bethke. The eventual game winner was Shelander's first of the year.
Defense was the story of the second half as both defenses pitched shutouts in the final 45 minutes. Minnesota sophomore Cat Parkhill and Commodores goalkeeper Rachel Bachtel each posted three saves in the second half.
Minnesota returns to action on Sunday with a 1 p.m. matchup at Western Kentucky before closing out a three-game road trip with a 1 p.m. meeting against Belmont next Tuesday.