It was a busy weekend for the Minnesota Gophers sports teams. Many were in action, and with minimal TV coverage this week. Here is a quick recap of how the Gophers did last weekend in all of their various sporting events!
The Gophers women’s hockey team came into the weekend ranked #3 in the nation and atop the WCHA standings by two points. They left the weekend ranked #3 in the nation and a top the WCHA standings by two points. The Gophers split with #1 Ohio State picking up a 4-2 win on Friday night before dropping a 5-1 tally on Saturday afternoon.
The Gophers got off to quick starts in both games. On Friday Peyton Hemp would put the Gophers up 1-0 after the first period. The Gophers would go up 3-0 midway through the second period on goals from Abigail Boreen and Abbey Murphy on an insane individual effort than would end up the #8 play of the day on ESPN’s Top 10.
The Buckeyes would add one late in the second period to cut the lead to 3-1 at the break, and then scored just 16 seconds into the third period to make it a 3-2 Gopher lead. Ohio State put on intense pressure to try and tie the game, but Minnesota goalie Skyler Vetter made some crazy saves down the stretch. Murphy would ice it with her second goal of the game with just over six minutes to play as Minnesota stretched their winning streak to 13 games.
That streak would come to a close the next day. The Gophers went up 1-0 early again on a Madeline Wethington screened wrist shot from the point, but that was the high mark for Minnesota. The Buckeyes would score two goals in 19 seconds later in the period to take a 2-1 lead. After s scoreless second, the Buckeyes again struck early in the third period—just 29 seconds in to make it a 3-1 game and put the Gophers behind the 8-ball. OSU iced the game with just over five minutes to play adding two more goals in just over a minute to make the final score 5-1.
Minnesota still holds a two point lead over the Buckeyes with four games left in the regular season. Both Minnesota and Ohio State have a series left against third place Wisconsin with the Badgers headed to Ridder Arena this weekend, and Ohio State ends the regular season in Madison the following weekend. Minnesota remains ranked #3 in the national polls this week and are currently sitting in third in the Pairwise rankings as well.
Indoor Track and Field:
The Gopher indoor track and field team competed in the Meyo Invite at Notre Dame on Friday, and hosted the Gopher Classic on Saturday. Minnesota impressed on Friday at Notre Dame with six different event victories and five program top 10 marks and times. In the 60m dash Amira Young posted a lifetime best of 7.24 seconds to win the event. It’s the fastest time in the Big Ten this season. Right behind her in second place was Akilah Lewis at 7.27 seconds which is the second fastest time in the conference this season.
In the triple jump a pair of Gophers took home the event title as both Diarra Sow and Tiera Robinson-Jones left 12.83 meters. That distance goes down as indoor collegiate bests for both, and puts them both at No. 4 in the indoor top 10 list in program history. The mark also ties the two for 28th in the nation and No. 4 in the Big Ten this season.
The Gopher 4x400 relay team of Jayla Cambell, Janielle Josephs, Dyandra Gray and Abigail Schaaffe clocked a 3:37.23 to edge Iowa, Notre Dame and Purdue who finished second, third and fourth. The time is the seventh fastest time in school history and is the third-fastest in the Big Ten so far this season.
Shelby Frank won the collegiate division of the weight throw with a mark of 22.82m. Frank has not lost to another college athlete this season, with the Meyo Invite being the fifth-straight meet she’s topped the college competition.
Minnesota also picked up event wins from Young in the 200m with a time of 23.79 and Alliyah McNeil in the long jump at 5.94 meters.
The Gopher Classic was led by many member’s of the men’s track team competing as unattached individuals.
The Indoor team is back in action this weekend at the Windy City Invite in Chicago and will compete against some of the nation's best from Stanford, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, UCLA, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State and more.
The #11 Gopher wresting team fell to #2 Iowa 18-13 on Friday night at the Pav. Iowa won the first six matches of the night to control the duel, but the Gophers closed with four straight wins including the upset of the night at 197 pounds with No. 28 Michial Foy secured the match-winning takedown as time expired to knock off returning NCAA finalist and #7 Jacob Warner, 2-1.
FOY BEATS THE BUZZER FOR THE WIN OF HIS CAREER!!!— Minnesota Wrestling (@GopherWrestling) February 4, 2023
He gets the takedown in the closing seconds to knock off an NCAA finalist!! pic.twitter.com/SDLdlIponB
Other Gophers picking up wins were #15 ranked Bailee O’Reilly over Aiden Riggins 4-1 at 174 pounds, #10 Isiah Salazar defeating Drake Rhodes 13-5 at 184 pounds, and #32 Garret Joles defeating Bradley Hill 5-0 at heavyweight.
Minnesota finishes the Big Ten duels season next Saturday at Wisconsin.
The Minnesota Gophers gymnastics team defeated Illinois 196.675 to 195.775 at the Pav on Saturday afternoon. The highlight of the match with the 5th Perfect 10 of junior Mya Hooten’s career on floor. She had a great day on the other events as well winning the all-around competition with a score of 39.675.
Minnesota started out on the vault and got 49.300 as a team led by a nearly perfect 9.975 vault from Hooten and a pair of 9.875’s from redshirt senior Maddie Quarles and senior Halle Remlinger.
On bars the Gophers scored 49.175 as a team led by Hooten again with a 9.875. Junior Giana Gerdes and sophomore Marissa Jencks each scored 9.850.
The beam is the Gophers weakest event this season and it once again showed with Minnesota scoring just a 48.650 as a team. Gerdes led the Gophers with a 9.850 with Hooten closely behind, earning a 9.825.
But the floor is where the Gophers show out on a nightly basis. A team score of 49.550 was led by Hooten’s Perfect 10. Remlinger was right behind on her birthday posting a 9.95.
Minnesota is currently ranked #19 overall in the nation with individual event ranks of #7 on floor, #10 on vault and #15 on bars. Minnesota heads to Ann Arbor for a matchup against the Michigan Wolverines at 4:30 on Friday.
The Gophers men’s golf team competed in the Big Ten Match Play Championships held at Hammock Beach Ocean Course in Palm Coast, Fla this weekend. The Gophers did not lose a single matchup, but still finished fourth in the event due to tiebreakers.
In the quarterfinal on Friday the Gophers took on Nebraska. The Gophers would run away sweeping the Cornhuskers 5-0. The Gophers got a 4&2 win from Harrison Arnold, a 2&1 win from Lincoln Johnson, a 1 UP win from Jacob Pedersen, 4&3 win from Antoine Sale, and a 6&5 crushing from Bennett Swavely.
The Gophers would face #1 seed Northwestern in the semifinals Saturday morning. While the two teams would tie with a 2-2-1 record, Northwestern would take the win on a tiebreaker by winning more total holes in the match. The Gophers got a pair of 1UP wins form Arnold and Pedersen and a half from Sale.
The Gophers would face Indiana in the third place match Saturday afternoon, and once again would finish in a 2-2-1 draw with the Hoosiers. But yet again, Indiana took the win due to winning the most total holes leaving the Gophers to a 4th place finish. Johnson would win his match 4&3 and Sale would win his 2UP with Arnold earning a half.
The Gophers return to action March 6th and 7th at the Colleton River Collegiate in Bluffton, S.C.
Swimming and Diving:
The Gopher swim and dive teams hosted the Last Chance Meet at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on Friday and Saturday. No team scores were kept as it was an opportunity to set season best times and try and earn individual NCAA Championship qualifying cut times. The Gophers would succeed earning two NCAA ‘B’ cuts, 23 personal records and 40 season-best performances after competition was completed.
The ‘B’ cuts belonged to fifth-year senior Max McHugh, whose time of 51.56 was his second fastest of the year and just .05 off his season-best mark. The other went to freshman Alberto Hernandez who swam the 400 IM for the first time in his collegiate career. His time of 3:50.26 was the third fastest on the Gophers this year.
The teams now will prep for the Big Ten Championships which will be held in Ann Arbor Michigan this year. The women are set to compete February 15-18, while the men hit the pool the week afterward.
The Gopher tennis team picked up a pair of home wins on Saturday over Marquette and South Dakota to move to 2-2 in the spring season. The Gophers overcame deficits in both matches due to a shortage of players which required them to forfeit the #5 and #6 singles matches in each competition.
Against Marquette the Gophers took the doubles point with wins at the #1 spot from Zoey Weil and Zeyneb Sarioglan by a score of 6-3 and at the #2 spot from Anet Koskel and Aiva Schmitz by a score of 6-4. The Gophers got singles wins from Sarioglan, Weil and Schmitz to clinch a 4-2 victory.
The match against the Coyotes would be tougher. Minnesota fell behind 3-0 after dropping the doubles point and forfeiting the two matches. But the Gophers quartet would all claim singles wins to earn a 4-3 overall win.
Minnesota is next in action when they host Drake and St. Thomas next Sunday.
The Gopher men dropped their game against Maryland by a score of 81-46. Pharell Payne led the Gophers with 14 points and added six rebounds and three blocked shots. Minnesota only had eight scholarship players available for the game. Their next game at Illinois slated for Tuesday night has now been postponed due to COVID in the Gopher program.
The Gophers dropped their game on Sunday at Illinois by a score of 69-62. The game was tied at 35 at halftime before Minnesota came out slow again to start the second half and Illinois took advantage outscoring the Gophers 18-10 in the quarter. The Gophers show just 2-13 in the third quarter, and 36.7% overall for the game. Minnesota was led by another breakout performance from forward Alanna Micheaux who scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Minnesota next heads to Columbus to take on #12 Ohio State on Wednesday night.