The Minnesota Golden Gopher soccer team played a hard-fought back-and-forth match with the Boston University Terriers Friday afternoon, but could only manage a 1-1 double-overtime tie in their opening contest on the East Coast. Lindsey Schwartz scored her Big Ten-leading fifth goal of the season just 10 minutes into the contest, but the Gophers could not put another score in the net and saw their record drop to 3-3-1.
After scoring six goals during last weekend’s Gopher Invitational and seven the weekend before that, Minnesota went the final 100 minutes of Friday’s contest without a goal. The Gophers held onto their early lead until the 71st minute, when BU’s Farrell McClernon received a feed inside the box from Shauna Kelleher and snuck a shot past keeper Chelsey Turner. Turner made five saves on the afternoon to increase her season total to 35.
Head coach Mikki Denney Wright was pleased with her team’s overall effort.
“I thought we put together some pretty good soccer,” Denney Wright said after the match. “We did a nice job of adjusting to the artificial turf field, and I thought we battled through overtime better than we did against Dayton last weekend.”
Schwartz’s first-period goal allowed her to equal her tally from last season and puts her just one behind her career high of six, set in 2005. It was also the 16th goal of Schwartz’s career and ties her Purdue’s Shauna Stapleton atop the Big Ten leaderboard. Three of the junior forward’s five shots on the afternoon came on goal.
“Lindsey is on fire right now,” Denney Wright said about her star forward and leading scorer. “She’s gotten better every year and has an outstanding surrounding cast around her this year, which has really helped.”
Kelsey Hood notched her first assist and third point of the season on the play. She now has seven assists and 15 points for her career. Freshman Julie Rezac also put two shots on goal for the Gophers.
The Gophers, who entered the game leading the Big Ten Conference with 8.67 corner kicks per game, were uncharacteristically out-done by the Terriers in that category Friday. BU managed six corners to Minnesota’s three, just the third time that has happened to the Gophers in 2007. Minnesota was also out-shot 19-12 by Boston University, as their record is now 3-4-1.
“We still have a very young team, and I think they started to press a little bit toward the overtime periods,” Denney Wright said. “I give (Boston University) credit for coming back and sticking around the entire match.”
Minnesota will wrap up its East Coast trip and non-conference season Sunday afternoon when they take on the Northeastern University Huskies. The Gophers will return to Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Sept. 28 when they open Big Ten play against Michigan State.