The University of Minnesota women’s soccer team (4-0-0) won its fourth straight contest, beating North Dakota State (2-2-0) by a 3-0 score Sunday afternoon in Fargo, N.D. The Gophers got goals from Kaitlin Wagner, Molly Rouse and Katie Bethke. Goalkeeper Lindsey Dare recorded her third shutout in four games this season.
The Gophers’ first goal was also the first goal of the season for Wagner, who was playing against her younger sister Laura, a freshman midfielder for the Bison. Bethke and Rouse assisted on the Wagner tally.
Wagner’s goal was the eighth game-winner of her career. The goal tied her with Rachael Roth (2000-02) and Gretchen Brandt (1993-95) for sixth place on the Gophers’ all-time game-winning goals list.
Rouse, who has recorded at least one assist in each game this season, added a goal of her own in the 64th minute. The goal was Rouse’s first of the season and her three point performance was the first of the sophomore’s career.
A goal from Bethke helped to put the game away for the Gophers late in the second half. Bethke’s goal was her third in as many games.
Both teams battled breezy conditions at the Ellig Sports Complex, with gusts reaching 50 miles per hour. The Gophers had the wind advantage in the first half and parlayed the elements into a 17-1 first half shot advantage. Although the Gophers put more shots on the Bison defense in the first half than the second, the Minnesota coaching staff was pleased with the Gophers’ second half play.
“Playing against the wind, our defense had a real challenge playing some tricky balls that came into the zone,” head coach Mikki Denney Wright said. “We played some great soccer in the second half today. The challenge for us going forward will be to put two great halves of great soccer together.”
In four games this season, Minnesota has outscored its first four opponents 12-1 and outshot its foes by a staggering 110-17 margin.
“We are proud that the girls are not just winning these games, but that they are really dominating play,” Denney Wright said.
With Tuesday’s win, the Gophers are now 5-0-1 in program history against Summit League foes and 8-2-0 in August matches in the Denney Wright era.
Minnesota returns home to host the Regina Moench Memorial Tournament at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul this weekend. Minnesota plays Ohio University in a 7:00 match on Friday evening and meets 2007 NCAA Tournament participant Creighton in a 1:00 tilt on Sunday afternoon. Sunday’s match can be viewed live in the Gold Zone on gophersports.com.