Gophers Head To Illinois for B1G Weekend
Oct. 11, 2017

No. 23 Minnesota (9-2-3) at Northwestern (6-6-2) | at Illinois (5-10-0)
 Game 1 Minnesota at Northwestern | Thursday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. CT
 Location Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium | Evanston, Ill.
 Tickets Buy Tickets
 Ways to Follow BTN | BTN2Go | Live Stats | Live Updates | Twitter
 Game 2
Minnesota at Illinois | Sunday, Oct. 15 at 1:00 p.m CT
 Location Illinois Soccer Stadium | Champaign, Ill.
 Tickets Free
 Ways to Follow BTN Plus | Live Stats | Twitter
 SOCIAL MEDIA  @GopherSoccer | Facebook | Instagram

The University of Minnesota soccer team will be heading down to Illinois for a pair of games that include Northwestern and Illinois. The Gophers will play on Thursday on the Big Ten Network against Northwestern at 8:00 p.m. and then will be on BTN Plus on Sunday against Illinois at 1:00 p.m. 


Northwestern comes in with a 6-6-2 record, but has been outscored this season 14-15. The Wildcats are about even in most statistics as a team, with 68 shots to 74 allowed, 10 assists to 13 allowed and 68 corner kicks to 71 allowed. Kayla Sharples leads Northwestern in goals with three this season. Marisa Viggiano has helped her teammates out with a team-high five assists this season and a team-high nine points. Lauren Clem starts in net for the Wildcats, and has played 1300 minutes this season. She has a 1.04 goals against average and has made 59 saves and has recorded five shutouts.

Illinois holds an overall record of 5-10-0 this season. They have scored 13 goals, and have given up 26 in their 15 games. Illinois has been largely dominated statistically this season with just 57 shots to 119 allowed and 56 corner kicks to 95 for their opponents. They are paced offensivley by Kara Marbury who has scored three goals this season, she is also the leader in total points with six. Illinois has three players who have registered a team-leading two assists. In net is Jaelyn Cunningham who has started all 15 games for the Fighting Illini. She has currently has a 1.7 goals against average this season, and has made 92 saves. 


In front of over 1,000 fans, the Gophers were put to the test against one of the best offenses in the Big Ten in Purdue. Minnesota's defense came to play by allowing just five shots, and only one on goal. Minnesota was able to shutout the Boilermakers 2-0, and got goals from Sydney Squires and Julianna Gernes to earn their fifth straight win.

"A shutout was a long time coming for this group," head coach Stefanie Golan said. "One of the things we pride ourselves in is starting out defending with our forwards. Even though we keep the ball for long periods of time, our backs and our keeper do a fantastic job at staying tuned in and staying compact and together to make it so hard to break them down."


Sydney Squires has once again been named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. She shared the honor with one other player this past week, but gathers her second of the season. Her three goal weekend helped the Gophers win a pair of Big Ten games and moved them into a tie for second place with just four games to go. Squires is now seventh place all-time with 30 career goals. She has 13 goals this season, which is tied for 10th most in a single season. She also has five game-winning goals, which is tied for the second most in a single season in Minnesota soccer history.


The Gophers re-enter the United Soccer Coaches poll after falling out since the preseason poll when they were No. 19. Minnesota re-enters at No. 23 this week. Their five game winning streak has propelled them over teams like Rutgers, Purude and Maryland.


The Minnesota Golden Gophers have had a pair of players who are near the top in the nation in their respective statistics. Junior April Bockin has 11 assists this season, which puts her atop the nation all by herself. Sydney Squires 13 goals puts her in a tie for second most in the NCAA, and her five game-winning goals puts her in a tie for fourth place.


Senior Julianna Gernes scored her seventh goal of the season against Purdue to put the game out of hand. With that goal she eclipsed her previous career-high for a single season which was six last season.



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