Gophers Erupt in 7-0 Win Over Belmont Minnesota closed out a three-game road trip with another win on Tueday over Belmont.
The Minnesota women's soccer team erupted with seven goals including a pair from both junior midfielder Shari Eckstrom and sophomore forward Allie Phillips on Tuesday afternoon in a 7-0 shutout over Belmont. The Gophers (3-1-0) picked up their third-consecutive win and went undefeated in a week-long road trip with the win over Belmont (0-3-0).
"I'm really proud of the way our players responded today. We were obviously disappointed with our execution in the final third on Sunday, and this was a completely different team today," Minnesota head coach Mikki Denney Wright said. "One of our core values is to grow every day, and I think we grew everyday this weekend."
After 20 minutes of scoreless play to start Tuesday's game, the Gophers rattled off two goals in just over one minute when Eckstrom and Phillips each tallied goals in the 21st and 22nd minutes. Eckstrom, who finished the game with a team-high three goals on the season, picked kicked off Minnesota's shooting gallery when she poked in a corner kick from senior midfielder Katie Bethke at the 20:58 mark. 55 seconds later, Phillips would tally her first goal of the season off a rebound from senior midfielder Kylie Kallman. Junior defender Josie Solie also earned an assist on the goal.
The first-half firestorm continued when junior forward Tamara Strahota drew Belmont goalkeeper Sari Lin to the near side of the net before slipping a pass across the box to senior forward Katie Shelander. With Lin out of position, Shelander had no trouble depositing her second score of the season at the 33:12 mark. The duo hooked up again in the 45th minute, this time with Strahota knocking home her first of the year with assists from Shelander and sophomore midfielder Olivia Bagnall.
Minnesota's production would dip only slightly in the second half as the Gophers tallied three additional goals. Phillips buried her second goal of the game when her strike from just outside the box hit home at 52:08 after a set-up pass from Bethke. Bethke, who finished with a game-high three assists, also set up senior midfielder Molly Rouse's scoring strike in the 65th minute. Senior midfielder Angie Olson also earned an assist on the play. Eckstrom, who started the day's scoring for Minnesota and had a game-high eight shots and four shots on goal, would add a closer with assists from Shelander and freshman midfielder Nicole Baier in the 87th minute to give Minnesota a 7-0 win.
Behind a stoic defense that allowed only three total shots and a lone shot on goal off a free kick, Cat Parkhill and Katie Roberts split time in net for the Gophers, each working a half. In her fourth start of the season, Parkhill went untested while Roberts made one save in relief. In contrast, Minnesota peppered Belmont's goalkeepers with a season-high 27 shots, scoring on 7 of the team's 15 shots on goal.
The Gophers return to action this weekend, hosting the Minnesota Gold Classic in St. Paul. The four-team tournament kicks off on Friday afternoon with a meeting between Marquette and Sand Diego scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start. Minnesota's first game of the tournament will follow at 7:00 p.m. on Friday when the Golden Gophers host UC-Santa Barbara. UC-Santa Barbara and Marquette meet on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. while the Gophers take on San Diego in the closing game of the event at 1:00 p.m. Both of Minnesota's games will be streamed online at Gophersports.com. All game times are Central Standard Time.