We take another weekly look at the Gophers non-revenue sports this week. Excitement was the name of the game with a soccer OT winner, a thrilling cross-country race in Beantown, and an exhibition hockey blowout win just the tip of the iceberg.
The Gopher soccer team took a two game trip to Michigan for a pair of Big Ten tilts. On Friday night the Gophers were in East Lansing to face the Michigan State Spartans. Despite outshooting MSU 11-8 the Gophers could not find the back of the net. The good news was neither could the Spartans so the game would end in a scoreless tie.
Sunday the Gophers made the trip down to Ann Arbor for a game against the Michigan Wolverines. Again, neither team could seem to put the ball into the net until the 105th minute when Minnesota senior April Bocken took a pass from Molly Fiedler and ripped a shot into the upper corner of the net for a golden goal and a 1-0 win for Minnesota.
The Gophers will have a chance to gain ground this weekend when they host a pair of home matches. Thursday night the Gophers host Maryland at 6PM, and Sunday afternoon they host Rutgers at 1PM.
Women’s Cross Country:
The #23 Golden Gophers cross-country team finished in fourth place overall at the Coast to Coast Battle in Beantown last Friday. The Gophers were paced by the Hasz twins. Bethany took second place in a time of 17:17 in the 5K race, and her sister Megan took home fifth place in 17:21. Ole Miss, Georgia tech and Utah took first through third places.
The Gopher women and men will be home this weekend when they host the annual Roy Griak Invitational at the U of M Bolstad Golf Course on Saturday. The Men’s Division I race will start at 11:10, while the women’s DI race will begin at 12:15.
The Gophers swept a pair of games last week at home. They defeated #4 Penn State 3-0 on Wednesday night, and then got revenge for the football team and swept Maryland 3-0 on Saturday night.
The Gophers swept the Big Ten Weekly awards after their sweep. Adanna Rollins was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, Samantha Seliger-Swenson was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week, and Stephanie Samedy was named the Co-Big Ten Player of the Week.
She may have just earned co-conference player of the week honors, but Samedy impressed someone as she was also named the AVCA National Player of the Week. She is the first Gopher to receive the award since Sarah Wilhite did in 2016. Samedy contributed 33 points and averaged 4.50 kills per set in the Gophers two sweeps. Last Wednesday against the Nittany Lions, Samedy led all attackers with 14 kills, added a double-double with 10 digs, a team-best five blocks as well as an assist and ace. Against Maryland, she hit .310 when she amassed another match-best 13 kills in 29 swings, and accumulated four blocks.
Minnesota is ranked #6 in the country in this week’s national poll, and will have a marquis match-up yet again this Wednesday when the host the #5 ranked Wisconsin Badgers. The game will begin at 8PM and will air live on BTN. The Gophers will then travel to Bloomington, Indiana for a match with the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday evening.
The Gophers played in their first road tournament of the fall season at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Gophers finished three over par for the tournament, good enough for 12th place, 31 shots behind first place Georgia Tech Yellowjackets.
Sophomore Angus Flanagan was the top individual for Minnesota. He started the final round tied for eighth place, but shot a +3 73 on Sunday to drop back into a three-way tie for 24th place. He still shot -3, 207 for the tournament which is a new personal best for 54 holes for him.
The Gophers started the fall season at three individual tournaments. Junior Stefan Milicevic competed in the Oricle ITA Maters Tournament in Malibu, California. He won his first match 6-3, 6-1 in the Round of 32 over Zdenas Derkas, but would lose in the Sweet 16 to USC’s Daniel Cukierman. He also competed in the mixed doubles event with Kate Fahey of Michigan where they would lose in the semifinals.
Seniors Marino Alpeza, Josip Krstanovic, Justyn Levin, and Jesse Sprinkel all competed in the Milwaukee Tennis Classic. Krstanovic won his first round match against DePaul, winning 6-1, 6-2, while Alpeza, Sprinkel and Levin all fell in their matches. Levin bounced back to win his next two matches, defeating NC State 4-6, 6-1, 10-4 and toppling BYU 7-5, 6-4. Alpeza won his second round match against Iowa 5-7, 6-4, 10-8 before losing his third match.
The Gopher women hosted the Gopher Invitational at the Baseline Tennis Center last weekend. As a team the Gophers went 45-14 in the tournament, recording a 25-7 doubles record and 20-7 singles mark across the four days. Minnesota was competing against teams from South Dakota, Northern Iowa, Drake, Nebraska, and Iowa State.
The Gophers will wait and see if they will have any qualifiers for the All-American Championships taking place in Pacific Palisades, Calif., Sept. 29 through Oct. 7. They then will head to Iowa City for the ITA Central Regionals, beginning Oct. 12.