The University of Minnesota soccer team plays its last two home games of the 2006 season this weekend at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The Gophers host Michigan on Friday at 7 p.m., and Michigan State on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Michigan enters the weekend with a 7-5-4 overall record and is 3-2-2 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are riding a four-game unbeaten streak and are fresh off a 2-1 upset win over No. 24 Illinois.
The Wolverines possess the potential to be very dangerous on the attack. Returning All-Big Ten performer Melissa Dobbyn leads the conference in shots with 73, while Judy Coffman ranks in the top 10 in goals and points. Sophomore Katie Miler was the Big Ten’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week after scoring two game-winning goals last weekend.
Michigan goalkeeper Megan Tuura has also been tough to score against, as she leads the Big Ten with a 0.52 goals-against-average
The Series vs. Michigan
The Golden Gophers lead the all-time series against the Wolverines, 8-5. Minnesota won each of the first six contests between the two schools, but since have won just two of the last seven.
The Gophers defeated Michigan, 1-0, in Ann Arbor last season. Lindsey Schwartz scored in the 74th minute to give the Gophers the victory.
About Michigan State
Michigan State enters the weekend with a 6-8-1 overall record and is just ahead of Minnesota in the Big Ten standings with a 2-5-0 conference record.
Freshman Lauren Hill has made an immediate impact and is the most dangerous player on the Spartan roster. She ranks tied for fourth in the Big Ten in goals and is sixth in total points.
The Series vs. Michigan State
Minnesota leads the all-time series against the Spartans, 8-6-1, but has lost each of the last six meetings. The Gophers dominated the series early on, winning eight of the first nine matches, with the other match resulting in a tie, before the current funk. Minnesota has not beaten Michigan State since a 2-0 victory on Sept. 24, 1999.
With a 1-6 record in the conference, Minnesota’s remaining three games are all crucial in keeping its Big Ten Tournament hopes alive. While the Gophers do not completely control their own destiny, three wins would definitely be advantageous, as their three remaining games are all against teams within striking distance. The Gophers need to move up two spots in the conference standings to earn a post-season berth.
Minnesota’s Post-season Scenarios
In with three wins and...
...an Ohio State loss to Michigan or Michigan State -or-
...Michigan losses to both OSU and MSU -or-
...Wisconsin losses to both Northwestern and Penn State
In with a loss to Michigan and wins against MSU and OSU and...
...OSU losses to both MSU and Michigan and an MSU loss to Michigan
In with a tie against Michigan and wins against MSU and OSU and...
...an OSU loss to Michigan and a tie against MSU and an MSU loss to Michigan
If the Gophers tie either MSU or OSU...
...they need OSU to lose to both Michigan and MSU and an MSU loss to Michigan
Out with a loss to Michigan State or Ohio State
Out of This League
With their 2-1 win against South Dakota State last Sunday, the 2006 Golden Gophers finished with the best non-conference record in school history. Minnesota finished with a 7-1-1 record against teams from outside the Big Ten, good for a .833 win percentage. Minnesota’s previous best non-conference mark was 9-2-1 (.792) in 1998. Minnesota is 26-11-5 in non-conference action since 2002.