Life has been busy, so we have been amiss at providing good up to date updates on the fall Minnesota Gophers seasons thus far...except football of course. So in case you have been to lazy to google—here is an update on how the Gophers have faired over the past week.
Minnesota was out west taking part in the final Big Ten/Pac 12 Challenge this past weekend in Palo Alto California. The ten #10 Gophers took on #6 Oregon in the opening match on Friday night and it would go the distance. The Gophers and Ducks went back and forth in the first four sets with Minnesota winning the first and the fourth, and Oregon winning numbers two and three. In. the fifth and final set, the Gophers would prevail with a tight 16-14 squeaker of a win to make it four in a row over the Ducks. The next time these two teams will likely face one another will be in Big Ten play next fall.
Sophomore Makenna Wucherer led the way setting new career highs with 21 kills and 10 digs. Taylor Landfair played her best match of the season thus far adding 18 kills and Melanie Shaffmaster would dish out 51 assists in the five set thriller.
Saturday night the Gophers took on the host #5 Stanford and would not fair as well. The Cardinal took it to the Gophers early picking up a 25-21 opening set win. Minnesota would battle back to even the match at one each after a 25-19 second set win, but the Cardinal were just two strong in the next two getting matching 25-16 wins to earn a 3-1 victory.
Wucherer led the way with 12 kills, and Landfair added eight. Minnesota is now 0-4 all time against Stanford on their home floor.
The Gopher soccer team competed their non-conference portion of the schedule with a 0-0 draw at Creighton last Friday. Minnesota led in shots on goal 7-4, but could not get a ball past Blue Jay keeper Keelan Terrell. Megan Plaschko made four saves for the Gophers to earn her 23rd career shutout and fourth this season. She has not allowed a goal since August 24th and Minnesota enters Big Ten play with a 4-1-2 record.
The Gopher Cross-Country teams competed in the Badger classic last Saturday in Madison. It would be a great day for the Gopher men who would take home the title knocking off #4 Wisconsin along with five other teams including Big Ten foes Illinois, Ohio State and Iowa. It was the Gophers first win away from home since 2018 when they won the Greeno/Dirksen Invitational in Lincoln. The course was ran on the same one that will host the Big Ten Championships in late October. Redshirt freshman Shane Greipentrog was the top finisher in the men’s 8000m race, finishing fourth overall in a time of 24:30.2. Emmit Anderson was right behind in 5th place running a lifetime best of 24:31.6.
On the women’s side the Gophers would finish in fourth place out of seven teams. But they would defeat a ranked opponent in #16 Ohio State. Minnesota’s best runner Ali Weimer did not participate, but they got a great 10th place performance from senior Taylor Kreitinger in a time of 18:22.1 for the 5,000m race. Erin reidy would post a lifetime best of 18:36.6 to finish in 17th place.
Both the Gopher men and women hosted their lone home tournaments of the season earlier this week. The Gopher men hosted the Gopher Invitational at Windsong Golf Club in Independence Minnesota and would finish in 5th place out of 14 teams in the field. The Gophers were in a tie for fourth place after the first 3y6 homes on Sunday with Graduate senior Jacob Pedersen and junior Eduardo Galdos leading the way at -2 through 36 holes.
In the final round on Monday the Gophers as a team would shoot their worst round of a tournament combining for a +4 288 total. That dropped the Gophers to +3 for the tournament and a fifth place tie with Northwestern who fell out a tie for the lead to tie the Gophers. UNC-Wilmington would win the tournament at -7, five shots ahead of Kent State.
Senior Ben Warian and Galdos would lead the Gophers individual finishers at -1 for the tournament, good enough for a four way tie for 11th place. Kansas’ Will King took home the individual title at -8.
The Gopher women hosted the Annika Intercollegiate at The Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo. Minnesota would finish 11th in the 12 team field. Minnesota usually finishes last in the tournament which features a large group of ranked teams, and for the first time in their participation in the event, they defeated an opponent, and a ranked one at that. Minnesota finished the tournament shooting +20 for the three day event, one shot ahead of #12 Baylor.
The Gophers played a great final round on Wednesday bouncing back from their worst round of the tournament on Tuesday to gain eight strokes. That was anchored by Graduate student Grace Curran who tore off a great round of -4 on Wednesday to jump into a tie for 18th place individually at -2 for the tournament. Sophomore Isabella McCauley bounced back from a +4 on Monday with rounds of +2 and then -2 on Wednesday to end her tournament tied for 38th place.
Gopher sophomore guard Mara Braun is in Mongolia with the US U21 3x3 World Cup team playing for a championship this week. Braun competed in the qualifying stages with the US team back in June in China and was named one of four players on the Championship roster for this week’s event. The US opened up 3-0 winning their pool on Wednesday with wins over Spain, France and Jordan. Braun led the US in scoring with six points in the win over Spain, and added two in the win over France, and four in the win over Jordan.
The US will face Egypt in the Quarterfinals at 4:15 AM Central time on Friday morning with hopefully the semifinals to follow at 6:05 and the Championship game at 7:30.