Golden Gopher Soccer began their trip to West Lafayette with a toughen-ya-up type practice on a cold snow-covered field outside Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium this morning (Oct. 10). Just before 10:00 a.m., the team unloaded the bus to practice, and amid shivers, chattering teeth, and exclamations of "ooohh, it's cold" they walked on to their white-dusted field.
The October snow was reminiscent of the Halloween blizzard of a few years back. However, those who remember that All Hallows Eve in 1991, may recall images of slightly more snow. But only slightly.
Despite growing up in the land of almost winter, winter, and still winter, it was discovered that some of the current crop of Gophers had never played a soccer game in the snow. Today's practice should serve as a great warm-up (metaphorically speaking obviously), as odds are there will be games in the snow later this season, with the schedule stretching into November.
Though visibly cold, the bundled-up Golden Gophers braved the elements and put in a solid hour of practice before heading out. The only noticeable hardships to the practice conditions were headers and saves - both due the rock-like nature that soccer balls magically acquired in subfreezing temperatures. No header left without a wince, and each shot caught by the keepers met their gloves with a thud.
Once practice wrapped up, it was a race to the bus for a little warmth on the ride to the airport. A short flight to Chicago preceded the short bus trip to West Lafayette, Ind. Kickoff for tomorrow's (Oct. 11) match is at 1:00 p.m. the Varsity Soccer Complex on the Purdue Campus.
With the Boilermakers currently atop the Big Ten standings and the Gophers in second, tomorrow's game has shaped up to be a battle for first place. Be sure to tune your internet dial to GopherSports.com tomorrow for live stats and the Live In-game Blog.