Minnesota Soccer Season Recap

Go Gophers!
Olivia Bagnall

Go Gophers!
Olivia Bagnall
Go Gophers!

Nov. 15, 2011

The list of accomplishments for the University of Minnesota soccer program in 2011 is a long one. Minnesota posted a 9-10-2 overall record while going 5-4-2 in the Big Ten, which put them in a fifth in the conference standings. However, wins and losses didn’t tell the entire story for the Golden Gophers. Eight of the Gophers’ 10 losses were by a single goal, including six coming at the hands of NCAA Tournament participants.

The Golden Gophers lose four decorated seniors, but head coach Mikki Denney Wright and company return 16 players, nine of which played over 1,000 minutes each. Minnesota also returns Tamara Strahota, who sat out all of 2011, due to a leg injury that she suffered prior to beginning of the season.

Strahota has proven in previous years to be an all-around force with being a defensive stalwart as well as tallying double-digit points in the three prior seasons. She will compliment the Maroon and Gold as they return three of its top five scorers in Taylor Uhl, Nicole Baier and Olivia Bagnall.

Coming into 2011, the Gophers were unsure about its backline after losing 2-of-3 defenders, but this season they filled the void with sophomores Lauren Bauer and MacKenzie Misel. The duo joined junior Marissa Price and proved to be a tough line to get past. All three return next year with one more year of experience under their belts.

The midfield returns an array of players that had considerable playing time this season. Filling the void of Eckstrom and Solie will be tough, but there are a plethora of players ready for the challenge including upperclassman like Bagnall, Steph Brandt and Allie Phillips.

Behind all of this, Minnesota has Cat Parkhill coming back for her final season in goal. She has been one of the top goalkeepers in the conference and will look to be the anchor on next year’s squad.

The Gophers are also known for having a variety of young talent perform early as many freshman proved this season, so expect Denney Wright to bring in another top recruiting class for the 2012 season.


Team Highlights
   - This year’s senior class is tied for having the third-most career victories in Minnesota history (57).
   - The Gophers led the Big Ten in home attendance with an average crowd of 926 through the team’s eight matches.
   - The average of 926 is the third largest for a season in Maroon and Gold history behind the 2007 and 2005
     seasons.
   - The September 4 match versus UW-Milwaukee brought in 1,220 fans, which is the 10th largest crowd in Elizabeth
     Lyle Robbie history.
   - For the fourth straight season, Minnesota tallied over 300 shots on the season.
   - The Gophers have had four straight seasons with a Big Ten record above .500.
   - In the Golden Gophers’ 10 losses this season, they dropped eight matches by only one goal, which is the most
     ever for a single season in Minnesota history.
   - This season the Gophers have had five matches versus opponents ranked nationally in the Top 25. Excluding all
     NCAA Tournament matches, that ties a Gopher record for the most matches versus ranked opponents in a season
     (2010, 2000 and 1999).
   - In the October 28 match against Nebraska, the Maroon and Gold scored six goals in the match, which is the most
     for the Gophers in a Big Ten match since the 1997 season when they tallied the same number on Iowa.
   - The 6-3 victory over the Huskers was Minnesota’s first-ever win over Nebraska.
   - The six goals were the most scored by the Gophers in a Big Ten match since defeating Iowa 6-0 in 1997.
   - Finished top half of the conference in all offensive categories.
   - Seven of the Gophers’ regular season opponents have advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
   - First soccer program in the nation to reach 5,000 Facebook fans.

Season Honors/Awards
   - Big Ten Freshman of the Year: Taylor Uhl
   - All-Big Ten, Second Team: Josie Solie (D)
   - Big Ten All-Freshman Team: Taylor Uhl (F); Becca Roberts (MF)
   - Big Ten Sportsmanship Award: Josie Solie
   - CoSIDA Academic All-District, Second Team: Lauren Bauer (D); Steph Brandt (MF); Allie Phillips (MF)
   - All-Big Ten Tournament Team: Shari Eckstrom (MF)
   - Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week: Taylor Uhl (Oct. 31)
   - Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Taylor Uhl (Aug. 22; Oct. 24; Oct. 31); Becca Roberts (Oct. 10)
   - TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week: Taylor Uhl (Aug. 22)
   - Soccer America Team of the Week: Taylor Uhl (Nov. 2)

Individual Highlights
Taylor Uhl
   -Tallied the schools’ 11th and 12th hat trick in school history
   - Most points (34) and goals (15) for a Gopher in a single season since 1998
   - Third Minnesota player to receive Big Ten Freshman of the Year
   - Ranks sixth on Minnesota’s single season charts with 34 points (second among freshman)
   - Tied for fourth in goals for a single season with 15 (tied for second among freshman)
   - Tied for fourth in game-winning goals for a season with five (tied for second among freshman)
   - Tied seventh all-time in shots for a season (tied for second among freshman)

Cat Parkhill
   - Ranked fifth all-time in Golden Gopher career saves (206)
   - Third all-time in Minnesota’s history books in career minutes (5,827:48)
   - Sits third all-time in Gopher history in career wins (35)

Shari Eckstrom
   - Finishes career ranked ninth all-time in career shots with (181)