This edition of Golden Nugz catches you up on some of the news you might have missed this week. The 2022-23 Minnesota Gophers athletic seasons are nearly over with just a few athletes competing next weekend at the NCAA track and Field Championships before we move on to the 2023-24 seasons. Speaking of that we are starting to have schedules dropping for the fall sports as you will read below, but first one last Spring Nug.
This week it was announced that both Gopher pitcher Autumn Pease and catcher Taylor Krapf where named to the NFCA All-America Teams, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Pease was named a second team All-American in her fifth season after winning the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. Pease finished her season with a 27-7 record, recording nine shutouts, 273 strikeouts, with a 1.46 ERA. Pease adds All-America status to her 2023 resume along with 2023 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, NFCA Great Lakes All-Region First Team, All-Big Ten First Team, and All-Big Ten Tournament Team.
Krapf a sophomore catcher who transferred from Duke was named a third team All-American. She led the team with 14 home runs on the season, driving in 48 runs. She slugged .671 with a .446 on-base clip and a .342 average. The sophomore set a career high of six runs drove in against Michigan, hitting two three-run bombs against the Wolverines.
Krapf adds All-American status to her long list of accolades from the 2023 season including: NFCA Great Lakes All-Region First Team, All-Big Ten First Team, and Big Ten Player of the Week.
The battery become Minnesota’s 14th and 15th Golden Gophers to achieve All-American status. Pease now moves onto the professional ranks and will begin play with the Texas Smoke in the Women’s Professional Softball League this summer.
The Gophers soccer team is set for it’s 30th season as a program this fall and they released their full schedule earlier this week.
!— Minnesota Soccer (@GopherSoccer) June 1, 2023
The third season of the Chastain Era includes 10 home matches at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.
️ https://t.co/FKpfhFMu6M#ThisIsHome | #Gophers〽️ pic.twitter.com/P2bBVPGaWf
The Gophers open with a pair of home exhibition games against North Dakota State and Iowa State in early August before officially opening the season against Niagara at home on August 17th. Minnesota closes out the non-conference schedule at home against St. Thomas on September 3rd before opening Big Ten Play on September 21st at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium against Michigan State. Minnesota will look to build off of their 8-8-3 record and 8th place finish in the Big Ten last season in coach Erin Chastain’s third year atop the program in 2023.
The Gopher Volleyball team released their non-conference schedule earlier this week and the Keegan Cook era will begin once again with a very tough non-conference schedule.
-— Minnesota Volleyball (@GopherVBall) June 2, 2023
Mark your 's #Gophers fans, it's going to be a fun season!
All eight preseason opponents made the NCAA Tournament last season.
The 'U' will host the defending champion Texas Longhorns Aug. 29.https://t.co/eAlvNCgu1Y pic.twitter.com/KyR6nqtI9E
The Gophers will have one exhibition game to open the season at Northern Iowa comes to the Pav on August 18th. Minnesota will open up regular season play at the Pav on August 25th and 26th when they host the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge. The Gophers will host TCU on Friday night and Baylor on Saturday night with Wisconsin playing the teams on the opposite days as well. Minnesota will welcome defending NCAA Champion Texas to the Pav on August 29th before heading on the rod for three straight matches in September. Minnesota will head to Gainesville to face Florida on September 3rd before heading to the west coach the following weekend for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge hosted by Stanford. The Gophers will face Oregon on Friday and the host Cardinal on Saturday with Ohio State playing the opposite teams on opposite days. Minnesota returns to host the Diet Coke Classic at the Pav on September 14 and 16. The Gophers will face High point on Thursday night the 14th and then face Creighton on Saturday the 16th. The Big Ten schedule has yet to be released but will begin the following weekend. TV will be announced at a later date as well.
Minnesota found out this week officially that senior Ryan Johnson would not be returning for a 5th season. He officially signed with the Buffalo Sabres organization and will report to their AHL team in Rochester, NY to open the 2003-24 season. Johnson was not expected back, but it was unknown whether he would sign with the organization that drafted him in the Sabres or wait until August 15th and become an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any NHL club.
Friday it was announced that Gopher associate head coach Steve Miller would be one of the assistants with the US World Juniors Team this winter. He along with St. Cloud State head coach Brett Larson will be the assistants for Denver head coach David Carle. This will be Miller’s 7th time as an assistant on the US World Junior Team staff helping win a pair of gold medals, a silver and a bronze in those trips. The 2024 World Juniors will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, opening on Dec. 26, 2023 and concluding with the gold medal game on Jan. 5, 2024. Several Gophers will be expected to make the roster including players on last season’s roster Logan Cooley, Jimmy Snuggerud,, Ryan Chesley, and potentially incoming freshmen Oliver Moore and Sam Rinzel.
Both the Gopher men and Gopher women’s hockey teams will introduce the Credit Up Program next season. Season Ticket Holders who can not make a game will be allowed to return their tickets to the athletics department in exchange for credit that can be applied towards season ticket renewal or converted into a tax-deductible donation to support Gopher Athletics. Once tickets are returned through the Credit Up! plan, the athletic department will strive to get them into the hands of fans seeking to attend the event. This may include reselling the tickets to other fans, fulfilling donation requests, or partnering with local organizations like Tickets for Kids.
If it goes well for hockey fans, you can expect to see this moving forward for other Gophers sports teams in the near future.
The U officially announced three transfers into their team for the 2023-24 season. They include goalie Lucy Morgan, and a pair of defenders in Solveig Neunzert and Taylor Stewart.
Morgan comes to the U from St. Lawrence where she recorded a 42-48-17 record in 110 appearances with a 1.99 GAA and a .928 Sv%. As a junior in 2021-22, she was named a Second Team All-American after posting a career-best 1.76 GAA, .939 Sv% and five shutouts. She is originally a Mandan, North Dakota native but played her final two seasons of high school hockey at Maple Grove. She will compete with junior goalie Skyler Vetter for playing time and should at bare minimum be a very solid #2. She has two years of eligibility remaining.
Neunzert comes to the U from Princeton where she tallied 23 points (6g-17a) in 94 games over three seasons. The Passau, Germany native will also have two seasons to play on the Gophers blue line.
Stewart comes to the Gophers from Minnesota-Duluth as a true grad transfer just like Liz Norton did this past season. The Rochester, MN native tallied 20 points (6g-14a) in 133 games over four seasons and will have one year of eligibility for the Gophers next season.