The University of Minnesota soccer team finished its weekend road trip with a 2-2 tie against Brown University on Sunday afternoon in Providence, R.I. The Golden Gophers withstood some heavy offensive pressure from the Bears and battled to earn a draw to move their record to 4-1-1 on the season.
Sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Dare (Apple Valley, Minn.) tied a 13-year old school record with 15 saves in the match to preserve the tie and remained unbeaten on the year despite allowing her first goal of the season. She is now 3-0-1 on the season with three shutouts in 380 minutes played.
Lindsey Schwartz (Bettendorf, Iowa)and Kelsey Hood (Ankeny, Iowa) scored for the Gophers, with both assists coming from Elena Fruci (Mahtomedi, Minn.).
The Bears came out on the attack in the early going, and it took a spectacular save from Dare to keep the score tied. A Brown player broke down the left side and sent a low cross in behind the Minnesota defense to a rushing attacker in the middle of the field. The Brown forward struck, but Dare reacted quickly to push the ball wide of the goal.
Minnesota came right back and scored two minutes later to take an early lead. Breaking out on the counterattack, Fruci slipped a ball in behind the Bears’ defense to Schwartz. Schwartz then ran past two Brown defenders and fired a hard shot from the top of the 18-yard box toward the lower right corner, bouncing it off the post and into the back of the net to put Minnesota ahead, 1-0. It was Schwartz’s third goal of the season and the ninth of her career.
The Bears continued to press in the first half with hopes of getting an equalizer, but Dare and the Gophers were up for the challenge. In the 25th minute, Brown sent a long throw into the box which was tipped by another player and headed towards the upper right corner of the net. Dare was able to move across the entire width of the goal and tipped the ball wide of the net. The Gophers defense held strong the rest of the half and went into the break with a 1-0 advantage.
Minnesota’s lead vanished just thirty seconds into the second half. Brown took the kickoff and sent the ball down the field wide on the right side, where it was then served into the Minnesota penalty box. The ball bounced around the penalty area and finally fell to a Brown attacker, who struck the ball past Dare into the upper right corner of the net.
Seven minutes later, Brown struck again to take a 2-1 lead. A ball sent in behind the Gopher defense was cleared to the feet of Brown’s Jill Mansfield wide to the right side of the goal. Mansfield then sent a low cross to Kathryn Moos who finished with a low ball to the right corner.
Down 2-1, the Gophers began to turn on their attack and press the Bears in hopes of evening the score. Their effort paid off in the 61st minute. Freshman Dana Tripp (White Bear Lake, Minn.) found the feet of Fruci, who slipped the ball in to Hood. Hood drove toward the left side of the penalty area and blasted a hard shot past Brown goalkeeper Brenna Hogue off the right post and into the back of the net.
With the scored tied at two apiece, both teams pushed for the game-winner, but the defenses stiffened and held strong amidst tremendous pressure throughout the end of regulation and both overtime periods.
Minnesota returns home next weekend to host the Gopher Invitational. The Gophers will face perennial Ivy League powerhouse Dartmouth on Friday night at 7 p.m., and Northern Colorado on Sunday at 1 p.m.Post-game quotes
Head coach Mikki Denney WrightOn coming away with a tie:
“We couldn’t get out from the pressure they put on us. I commend Brown for their efforts. They put us under intense pressure the whole game and we could never solve it. It took everything we had to battle back and tie that match. They gave us everything we could take.”
On Minnesota’s defense:
“That wasn’t one of our better performances. We just grinded it out and held on. Brown threw us out of our game and put us under great pressure. They are a really good team.”On the team’s response after giving up two quick goals in the second half:
“I was excited how we responded after giving up two goals because we never give those up. Giving up a goal in the first 30 seconds of the second half just shows immaturity and a lack of composure. That stung us and then we got stung again a few minutes later. But I commend us for coming back, and Kelsey Hood scored a beautiful goal.
“Again, it took everything we had to tie that match. We couldn’t find our rhythm and get anything going. Our staff and our players walked away from this game saying, ‘We have to be better.’”On the play of Lindsey Dare:
“Dare had some amazing saves. They use a flip-throw to get it into the box from anywhere in the attacking half. It’s so dangerous and Dare dealt with it unbelievably. We’re lucky to have the goalkeeping that we have at Minnesota with Lindsey and Chelsey (Turner). They keep us in a lot of games.”
On the play of Kelsey Hood:
“She showed leadership. She played 90 minutes on Friday and came back and played all 110 minutes today and scored the game-tying goal. She’s just taking it upon herself to be more of an attacking threat. That’s something she has worked on throughout the offseason and it’s paid off for her.”
“Two other players who really came in and really helped us today were Carlie Edwards and Sara Johnson. They played fantastic when we had a couple of players come out because of injuries.”
On what the team learned from today’s match:
“Sunday is all about grinding it out. It’s all about mentality, and Brown brought a better mentality than we did. They fought a lot harder, and hats off to them. They taught our young team a lot. By watching how Brown played on Sunday, our team learned a lot about what it’s like to compete on a Sunday. If we can learn that from them and use Brown as an example of how we want to play on Sundays, we can become a better team.”Game Notes
Lindsey Dare tied Teresa O’Hearn’s school record of 15 saves with her performance against Brown. O’Hearn set the record on Sept. 30, 1994 against Ohio State.
Dare allowed her first goal of the season but remained unbeaten with the tie against the Bears. She is now 3-0-1 with three shutouts on the year.
Minnesota is off to a 4-1-1 start to the season. It is the best start for the Golden Gophers since the 2002 team began the season with a 5-1-0 record.
Minnesota’s streak of 15 consecutive matches of having allowed one goal or fewer came to an end.
Kelsey Hood scored her first goal of the season and second of her career in the second half against Brown.
Elena Fruci recorded the first two assists of her career with helpers on both of Minnesota’s two goals in the match.
Lindsey Schwartz scored her third goal of the season in the first half. She remains tied for the team lead in goals and total total points (8) with Fruci.