The Minnesota Golden Gopher soccer team used four second half goals to defeat the Montana Grizzlies 4-0 Sunday afternoon in the final game of the 2007 Gopher Invitational at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. Kelsey Hood, Clare Grimwood and Katie Shelander all scored their first goals of the season and Lindsey Schwartz added her fourth as the Gophers continued their offensive outburst in 2007.
The Gophers (3-3-0) have now scored 14 goals through six regular season matches, after scoring just 19 all of last season (19 games). Minnesota, which also notched four goals against Dartmouth last weekend, has not scored four goals twice in the same season since 1999. The win was the team’s most lopsided since Sept. 29 of 2002.
Montana (1-5-0), fresh off a hard-fought 1-0 loss to Iowa State on Friday afternoon in the Invitational’s opening match, stayed with the high-powered Golden Gopher attack for the entire first period. Neither team was able to score in the first 45 minutes of the contest, even though the Gophers out-shot Montana 10-5 (including six on goal).
It was the veteran midfielder Hood that scored the first goal of the game, as her hard shot deflected off Montana goalkeeper Grace Harris’ hands and into the net during the 50th minute.
“It was great to get number one out of way for this year,” said Hood about the fourth goal of her Gopher career. “Even though it went off the goalie’s hands, I’ll definitely take it.”
Grimwood added another goal, the third of her career, at the 73:27 mark when she took control of the ball just inside the box and found the bottom right corner of the net.
The announced crowd of 1,008 witnessed yet another highlight just three minutes later, when Schwartz took a pass from freshman Julie Rezac to make the score 3-0. Schwartz, who tied for the team lead in 2006 with five goals, already has four in 2007.
Shelander, entering the game for the first time late in the second period, tallied Minnesota’s fourth goal of the afternoon when she redirected a hard pass from Grimwood into the bottom right corner of the net. Chelsey Turner had four saves and Molly Rouse added four shots on goal for the Gophers in the winning effort.
After being out-shot by Dayton 8-2 in the second half of Friday night’s 3-2 overtime loss, head coach Mikki Denney Wright’s squad came out strong in half number two on Sunday. The Gophers piled up 15 shots and four corner kicks during the final 45 minutes of play en route to their most lopsided victory in Denney Wright’s four-year history with the program.
“I think we’re a second half team,” said Hood about the difference between Friday and Sunday’s matches. “We just have to continue attacking and not be content with just one goal.”
Denney Wright has stressed her squad’s solid overall depth and was impressed the play of many Gophers that came off the bench on Sunday.
“I was really proud of all the kids that came in (off the bench),” said Denney Wright, citing Sara Clancy, Elena Fruci, Angie Olson and Rouse among those who played well in relief of the starters. “We have so much depth this year; we’re subbing players and kids are getting rest. Last year we had players that had to play all 90 minutes, but when they can get a 10-minute rest it really raises the level (of play) for the entire team.
“We want to be 18 deep, and I think that makes a difference,” Denney Wright said.
The Gophers had three players named to the Gopher Invitational All-Tournament team Schwartz (two goals), Grimwood (one goal, one assist) and Kelly Wepking (one assist). Dayton won the tournament with a 2-0 record after defeating both Montana and Iowa State.
Minnesota will wrap up its non-conference season next weekend when the travel to the East Coast for match-ups with Boston University (Friday at 3:00 p.m.) and Northeastern (Sunday at 12:00 p.m.). The Gophers will return to Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Sept. 28 when they open Big Ten play against Michigan State.
Gopher Invitational All-Tournament Team:
Clare Grimwood, midfielder, Minnesota
Kelly Wepking, midfielder, Minnesota
Lindsey Schwartz, forward, Minnesota
Colleen Gibson, midfieder, Dayton
Amanda Gallow, forward, Dayton
Niki Reed, goalkeeper, Dayton
Mandi Bck, midfielder, Dayton
Stephanie Kaphingst, midfielder, Iowa State
Amanda Purple, defender, Iowa State
Lauren Fader, defender, Iowa State
Laura Nogueira, midfielder, Montana
Grace Harris, goalkeeper, Montana
Sara Aspinwall, defense, Montana