On the Road Again
The Golden Gophers wrap up their longest stretch away from Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium this weekend with matches at No. 11 Penn State and at South Dakota State. The Gophers meet the Nittany Lions in State College, Pa., on Friday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. (CST) before returning to the Midwest to take on the Jackrabbits in Brookings, S.D. on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m.
About Penn State
Perennial powerhouse Penn State is currently ranked No. 11 in the nation and is tied for first in the Big Ten Conference standings with a 4-1-1 record in league play. The Nittany Lions suffered their first conference loss in three years earlier this year to No. 10 Illinois. But while PSU has been unable to duplicate the perfect Big Ten season they have had each of the last two years, all of the blemishes in their record have come against opponents who are or have been ranked in the top 25 at some point this season.
Penn State leads the Big Ten in scoring with 27 goals and 75 total points. Aubrey Aden-Buie leads the league in scoring with 18 total points and Katie Schoepfer ranks tied for third with 16 to lead the Nittany Lion attack.
The Series vs. Penn State
The Nittany Lions have dominated the all-time series against the Gophers. The two teams split their first four meetings, but since then Penn State has won 10 consecutive matches against Minnesota. The last time the Gophers defeated PSU was Oct. 17, 1997, a 4-3 decision in overtime.
While they did not come away with a victory, the Golden Gophers played the Nittany Lions as tough as any other team they faced last year. Top-ranked Penn State visited Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in front of a near-record crowd in the regular season finale last season and escaped with a narrow 1-0 victory in double overtime.
About South Dakota State
The Jackrabbits are in just their third season of Division I soccer and are playing their first as a member of the United Soccer Conference. SDSU enters this weekend with a 3-8-2 overall record and is winless in its last nine contests. The Jacks are coming off a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of North Dakota State last Friday and a 0-0 tie against Texas Tech on Sunday.
The Series vs. SDSU
The Golden Gophers lead the all-time series against the Jackrabbits 1-0-1, with the only two meetings coming in the last two years. Minnesota won the first meeeting between the two schools, 2-1, on Oct. 29, 2004. SDSU battled the Gophers to a 0-0 tie in double overtime last season, only the second scoreless tie in Minnesota history.
In the Hunt
Despite starting the Big Ten season with five straight losses, the Golden Gophers are still very much in the hunt for a bid to the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers are just two points out of eighth place and have yet to play Michigan, who currently holds the eighth spot.