Gopher Soccer 2019

Ignatius L Hoops

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Opening week-end:

The Minnesota Gophers kick off the 2019 campaign in California this week starting with UC Santa Barbara on August 22 before traveling south along the Pacific coast to face Cal-State Fullerton on Sunday August 25.

First up the Gophers face the Gauchos at 9pm CT on the 22nd before taking on Cal-State Fullerton at 7pm CT.


The Gophers have faced the Gauchos of UCSB three times but have never faced off against the Titans of Cal-State Fullerton. The Gophers lead the all-time series with the Gauchos 2-1.

Minnesota defeated the UCSB 2-0 on September 4, 2010 and again 1-0 on August 28, 2011 but last time the Gophers faced the Gauchos in the 2017 home opener the Maroon and Gold fell 1-0.


The Gophers had only one 2019 preseason match, a 3-0 victory over North Dakota State University on August 17 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota. Freshman Katie Duong led the way with two goals in her first half of wearing the Maroon and Gold. Duong scored one off a missed penalty kick before burying home a cross from sophomore Patricia Ward in the 18th minute.

The Gophers would add an insurance goal in the 55th minute while goalkeepers Maddie Nielsen and Ana Aguado shutout the Bison.


Gophers freshman Katie Duong, who scored two goals in the team's exhibition against North Dakota State, will train and compete with the Under-20 United State's Women's National Team. Duong hasn't previously been called up to the national team level since middle school.

The Portland, Oregon, native will attend the training camp in Chula Vista, California running from August 24 to Sept. 1 with two friendlies against Japan on August 28 and 31. Both matches begin at 6:30pm CT.

Ignatius L Hoops

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The Gaucho preview of the match:

Santa Barbara will look to slow down a talented Golden Gophers squad that made it all the way to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

Minnesota finished seventh in the Big Ten in 2018, but they managed to pull off three straight wins in the Big Ten tournament and secure their NCAA tourney birth.

They are expected to be more of the same this season, as the Golden Gophers were picked to finish sixth in the Big Ten Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll.

Minnesota returns no All-Big Ten performers this year; however, three of their players have been selected to the 2019 Big Ten Women’s Soccer Preseason Honor’s List. Junior midfielder Athena Kuehn, junior midfielder Celina Nummerdor, and senior defensemen Nikki Albrecht will be tasked with leading the Golden Gophers back to the tournament this year. Last season, the trio combined to miss only one game the entire season and totalled three goals and twelve points during that time.

Another player to watch on the Golden Gophers is junior goalkeeper Maddie Nielsen. Nielsen played in all 23 games and finished fourth in the Big Ten with 77 saves to go along with 9 shutouts, a number that ranked second in the conference. It will be fascinating to see how Nielsen will continue to improve throughout this season, but for now she will be tasked with stopping the offensive onslaught of the Gauchos.


The ‘Chos will look to take the momentum from their 2-0 exhibition win over Westmont on Saturday and translate it to success against a superior opponent.

On the offensive end it will most likely be senior Shaelan Murison who leads the charge for UCSB. Based on what we saw in the match against Westmont, Murison will be getting a lot of touches and taking the bulk of the shots for the Gauchos. This likely trend would be no surprise as just a season ago, Murison lead all Big West players in shot attempts by nearly double, and her 10 goals ranked second in the conference. Senior forward Katherine Sheehy will also be highly involved on offense based on her stats from a season ago, where she finished second in the Big West with five assists.

On the defensive side of the field, senior goalkeeper Hanna DeWeese is the player to watch. In 2018, DeWeese proved herself to be an elite keeper when she allowed only 15 goals on the season, good enough to rank second among all goalkeepers in the Big West. Her .800 save percentage and .94 average goals-against also placed in the top three in the Big West. DeWeese will look to take the next step in her senior year and compete for the Big West’s goalkeeper of the year award.

Another player to keep your eye on in this season-opener is Lauren Hess. Hess was named to the All-Freshman team in 2018 as a defender after seeing the field in all 21 games and making an impact on a team that came very close to the NCAA tournament. On Thursday it will be interesting to see how Hess has improved during the off-season and if her role has expanded at all after a stellar freshman campaign.

Ignatius L Hoops

Active member

Gophers open the season with a draw.

After allowing a goal in the third minute of the season opener, the Gopher soccer team scored two consecutive goals to take the lead for much of the game but ultimately finished in a 2-2 draw with UC Santa Barbara.

"Disappointed in the final result just because we felt like we created enough to win the game," head coach Stef Golan said postgame. "The positives we have to take away are that it's a point on the road which is a hard thing to get sometimes. It's a multi-goal game with Makenzie [Langdok] scoring two goals in two different ways with different people setting her up each time."

Ignatius L Hoops

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First win of the season:

The Gophers defeated No. 14 North Carolina State for the first time in program history and also took home their first victory of the 2019 season with a 1-0 victory on a rainy Thursday night at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.

"We've played really well and our results so far this season don't reflect the effort, but today we showed we can earn that collective win," goalkeeper Maddie Nielsen said.
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Why do we only play 11 conference games (we don't play Michigan and Purdue this year)? Why not play 13 conference games so everybody is playing the same schedule, and play each other once? (cut out two non-con games and have a totally balanced conference schedule for each team)
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