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For the second time in three seasons, Minnesota opens up at the prestigious NACWAA Classic. The fifth-ranked Golden Gophers will be part of a field that includes No. 1 USC, No. 11 Colorado State and No. 12 Georgia Tech. Last year USC and Minnesota played in the Final Four. Georgia Tech advanced to the Regional Finals where it lost to Hawai'i, while Colorado State bowed out to Florida in the Regional Semifinals. Minnesota will play host Colorado State on Friday, Aug. 27 at 8:30 p.m. (CT). Georgia Tech and USC will play the first match at 6 p.m. (CT). The losers of the first two matches will play in the consolation match at 6 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, Aug. 28, while the winners play in the championship match at 8:30 p.m.
Minnesota is 24-7 in season openers in the history of the program and 5-3 under current head coach Mike Hebert. The last three seasons, the Golden Gophers have played a top-10 team in their season opener. Minnesota opened at No. 10 Stanford (L, 0-3) in 2001, hosted No. 8 Pepperdine (W, 3-0) in 2002 and played at No. 2 Hawai'i (L, 0-3) in 2003. The Golden Gophers have opened the season against at top-10 team in four of Hebert's eight seasons at Minnesota. Along with the last three season, Minnesota also opened the season at No. 10 San Diego State (L, 1-3) in 1996. The Golden Gophers open up this season at No. 11 Colorado State on Aug. 27 in the NACWAA Classic.
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