Sept. 30, 2012
|| Minnesota vs. Penn State
The Minnesota Golden Gophers look to keep their conference streak alive when they face No. 8 Penn State today at Jessie Owens Memorial Stadium in University Park, Pa. Riding a two-game win streak after a 1-0 defeat of Michigan State and a thrilling second-half comeback against Wisconsin to win 3-2, Minnesota is thirsty for another victory to shake up the Big Ten standings.
Last Time Out
Minnesota delivered a thrilling performance against Wisconsin in the border battle at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium this past Thursday.
After being down 0-2 at the beginning of the second half, the Gophers strung together three unanswered goals, all within a span of 20 minutes, to generate the comeback for the win. Allie Phillips, Taylor Uhl, and Taylor Wodnick all tallied netters to give the Maroon and Gold their second consecutive victory over the Badger foes.
Scouting Penn State
Penn State is currently riding a heat-streak that earned the team a No. 8 ranking in the latest poll. The Nittany Lions moved to 4-0 in conference play after a victory over Ohio State last Thursday.
Christine Nairn leads the team with 10 goals and five assists on the season. Mallory Weber and Tani Costa have also proven to be powerhouse players for the Penn State offense.
Nittany Lions-Gophers’ Series
Penn State has dominated the all-time series against the Gophers in years past, holding the 20-3-0 lead. The Nittany Lions have won the last seven contests against the Gophers, dating back to 2007.
The two teams last met in the 2011 Big Ten Tournament, where Minnesota battled hard but ultimately fell 1-3 to be eliminated from the postseason tournament.
Minnesota vs. the Big Ten
Minnesota currently sits second in the Big Ten in shot attempts and third in points accumulated. The Gophers’ potent offense has also acquired 69 corners, which is top in the league. Despite having an aggressive offense, the Maroon & Gold have shown that they build their attack up from the backline with having only nine offside calls through all 12 matches of the season.
Minnesota has been forced into overtime four times this season, and they have been triumphant only once, which came against then-No. 24 South Carolina. In the three losses, the Maroon & Gold held a distinct shot attempt and shot-on goal advantage over their opponents.
In Minnesota’s 12 matches this season, they have snagged the lead within the first 20 minutes of play in seven of them. Also, only four times this season has the Maroon & Gold not scored the first goal of a match (USC, San Diego State and Michigan).
Sophomore Taylor Uhl has been a huge part in the Gophers’ success this season with having 12 goals and seven assists. Nationally, she ranks third in points and points per game, and sits fourth in goals.
Uhl has been able to accomplish these marks due to notching two hat tricks already this season while also setting records for consecutive matches with a goal (nine) and a point (12). Her stunning numbers have allowed her to collect one Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor this fall (Sept. 3).
Defending the Robbie
The Golden Gophers have proven over their 20 seasons as a program that it is tough for opponents to pullout a road victory. Over the 20-year span, Minnesota is 119-51-11 on their home pitch, which is a .657 winning percentage.
Taking Over the Reigns
The Golden Gophers are under new leadership for the 2012 season as former head coach Mikki Denney Wright resigned to commit more time to her family. Insert new head coach Stefanie Golan, who was formerly at Army for three seasons. Golan led the Black Knights to a 33-18-10 record in three seasons while also guiding them to a NCAA Tournament berth in 2011, which was only the second in program history.
20th Year Anniversary
This fall marks the 20th-year anniversary for Golden Gopher soccer. In that time, the Maroon & Gold have reached the NCAA Tournament seven times and garnered three Big Ten Championships.