The Minnesota Golden Gopher soccer team will end its regular season Friday night when they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes at 7:00 p.m. at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The match will be Minnesota's final tune-up before the 2007 Big Ten Tournament, which will begin next Thursday at ELR Stadium. The Gophers are currently in sixth place in the conference, and could finish as high as fourth depending on the outcome of Friday's matches. Minnesota will play its opening round match sometime Thursday evening (either 5 p.m. or 8 p.m.)
Taking Momentum To the Road
The Golden Gophers were able to successfully capitalize on the momentum of their double-overtime 1-0 victory over eighth-ranked Penn State last Sunday, gaining back-to-back road victories over Northwestern (Friday) and Wisconsin (Sunday). Forward Lindsey Schwartz scored both game-winning goals in the pair of 1-0 decisions, which marked the Gophers’ first conference road weekend sweep since the 2005 season.
Gophers Stay Strong In Chicago
The Minnesota Golden Gopher soccer team took an important first step towards the Big Ten Tournament and a potential NCAA Tournament berth by defeating Northwestern University 1-0 at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill. Friday afternoon. Lindsey Schwartz scored the game’s lone goal in the 71st minute to give the Gophers their first conference road victory of the season.
The Gophers changed their offensive scheme near the end of the first half, subbing in Sara Clancy as another attacking forward to put more pressure on the Wildcats. The mid-match scheme adjustment definitely paid off, as the Gophers were able to muster eight shots (four on goal) in the second half. The Gopher attack finally found pay dirt just a few minutes later when Schwartz scored from just over 10 yards out at the 70:40 mark in the second half. Freshmen Molly Rouse and Angie Olson each were credited with assists on the play. Schwartz now has a career-high seven goals this season and leads the team in that category. It was Schwartz’s first goal in Big Ten play since Oct. 23, 2005 against Michigan.
Minnesota Completes Sweep vs. Badgers
The Minnesota Golden Gopher soccer team grabbed their first conference weekend road sweep in nearly two seasons Sunday afternoon, topping the Wisconsin Badgers 1-0 in Madison, Wisc. The last time Minnesota (currently 9-7-1, 5-4-0 in the Big Ten) swept a conference weekend was Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2005. The Gophers have now won three straight 1-0 decisions.
Schwartz scored the lone goal of the afternoon just under five minutes before the end of the first half, her eighth of the season and second in as many games (Schwartz also had the game-winner Friday at Northwestern). A streaking Katie Bethke down the right sideline served a picture-perfect pass into the box, where Schwartz beat Wisconsin’s Jamie Klages with a header to the upper right corner.
“Border Showdown” Carries Special Meaning
Friday night’s match between the Golden Gophers and the Hawkeyes not only carries postseason implications for both squads, it also carries special meaning for Minnesota’s four Iowa natives. Jennie Clark (Norwalk), Kelsey Hood (Ankeny), Lyndsey Mueller (Urbandale), Sara Clancy (Cedar Rapids) and Lindsey Schwartz (Bettendorf) all hail from Minnesota’s neighbor to the south, as the Gophers have “stolen” several top recruits from the state during recent years.
The Gophers have not lost to the Hawkeyes since 2002 and are 7-2-1 against Iowa all-time. Last year, the Gophers’ lone Big Ten win came in overtime in Iowa City, 1-0. Minnesota has won three straight 1-0 decisions against the Hawkeyes.
Schwartz Gets on the Board
Schwartz, an Iowa native and the Gophers’ leading scorer this season, finally broke out of her Big Ten “slump” this past weekend in Chicago and Madison. Schwartz’s two game-winning goals over the weekend were her first in Big Ten play since her freshman season of 2005, and her seventh and eighth of the season (setting a new career high). Schwartz currently ranks sixth in the Big Ten in goals scored and fifth in total points (20).
Big Ten Tournament Preview
Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium will play host to the 2007 Big Ten Women’s Soccer Tournament beginning next Thursday, Nov. 8. This marks the first time Minnesota has hosted the event since 1997. Eight of the best Big Ten teams will duke it out in a three-round tournament to determine the conference’s automatic bid in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The Golden Gophers have already clinched their spot in the tournament and currently sit as the No. 6 seed; with a win Friday against Iowa, the team could finish as high as fourth. Here are the current seeds:
#1 Penn State (8-1-0)
vs. #8 Iowa (3-6-0)
#2 Purdue (7-1-1)
vs. #7 Northwestern (3-4-2)
#3 Illinois (6-3-1)
vs. #6 Minnesota (5-4-0)
#4 Indiana (5-3-1)
vs. #5 Ohio State (5-4-0)
If the Gophers beat Iowa Friday and the Hoosiers (Friday at Purdue) and Ohio State (Friday vs. Penn State) lose, Minnesota will be the No. 4 seed in the tournament.
Tourney to be Televised
The Big Ten office announced that the Big Ten Network and CSTV will televise the semifinals and finals of the upcoming Big Ten Women's Soccer Tournament, which will take place Nov. 9 and 11 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. Below is a complete television schedule:
Friday, Nov. 9 - Semifinal 1
Game time: 5:00 p.m. (6 p.m. ET)
Televised by: Big Ten Network - Tape-delay on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12 a.m. (1 a.m. ET); Re-air on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 7 a.m. CT (8 a.m. ET)
Friday, Nov. 9 - Semifinal 2
Game time: 8:00 p.m. CDT (9 p.m. ET)
Televised by: Big Ten Network - Tape-delay on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2 a.m. (3 a.m. ET); Re-air on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 9 a.m. (10 a.m. ET)
Sunday, Nov. 11 - Final
Game time: 1:00 p.m. (2 p.m. ET)
Televised by: Big Ten Network* - LIVE; CSTV - Tape-delay at 5 p.m. (6 p.m. ET)
* Broadcast LIVE on a regional basis or via alternate channels. Big Ten Network is available via DirecTV and Dish Network.
Kallman Sisters Win Weekly Award
It was sibling rivalry at its finest this week, as Golden Gopher defender Kylie Kallman and her sister, Krystle Kallman (a junior defender at West Virginia) were honored as members of the SoccerBuzz Elite Team of the Week. Kylie and Krystle become just the second pair of sisters to be named to the team during the same week and the first in over five years. Tina Frimpong (Washington), currently a member of the U.S. National Team, and her sister Crystal Frimpong (Florida) both made the team during the week of Sept. 2, 2003.
The Kallmans are just the third set of sisters to ever make the SoccerBuzz Elite Team, joining the Frimpongs and Megan and Rachael Rapinoe of Portland.
Kallman is the first Gopher to be named to the SoccerBuzz weekly team since Rachel Roth on Sept. 17, 2002. Kylie was also named the Big Ten’s Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 22.
The Hawkeyes enter Friday night’s match at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium fighting for their postseason lives. The Hawkeyes currently sit in eighth place in the conference and are holding onto the final spot in the Big Ten Tournament with a 3-6-0 conference mark. Iowa is ranked 10th in the SoccerBuzz Great Lakes region poll and boasts a quality conference win over Ohio State (10/21), also narrowly losing to first-place Penn State (10/19). Jackie Kaeding leads the team with three goals scored so far this season, and goalkeeper Lindsey Boldt has notched six shutouts for a 0.86 goals-against-average.
Bethke Stays Hot
Katie Bethke, a freshman out of Eau Claire, Wisc., has been emerged as star attacker for the Gophers this fall and appears to be a strong challenger for Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She currently leads the Big Ten in assists and is tied for seventh in total points.
Through the Gophers’ first 17 games, here is how Bethke compares to other freshmen in the Big Ten:
Goals: Tied-1st (5)
Assists: 1st (9)*
Points: 1st (19)**
*Bethke leads the Big Ten in assists
**Bethke ranks ninth in the conference in points