2006 Minnesota Golden Gophers [R]

Discussion in 'Women's College' started by GopherBob, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. GopherBob

    GopherBob Member

    Jun 6, 2003
    I know I'm the only Minnesota fan around these parts, but this is a program on the rise. Back to back stellar recruiting classes have jolted this program from the Big Ten cellar into a darkhorse contender for the conference title.

    The Golden Gophers built their resurgence last year around a strong defense and an outstanding keeper. A chunk of the defense, and last year's All Big Ten goalkeeper, Molly Schneider, have graduated. Hailey McCarthy, the team's top defender returns for her junior season and will anchor a green defense.

    The keeper position is still up in the air between Lindsey Dare and Chelsea Turner. Both were very highly touted in high school, Turner was an NSCAA All-American. They may split a lot of time between the pipes this season unless either takes control of the position.

    The midfield and forward are filled with young talent. It appears Minnesota will be starting 10 sophomores and freshmen this season, so there will be some growing pains, but all of these girls were big recruits with a lot of talent.

    Kelsey Hood will anchor the midfield. She's a ball winning, strong and technical player with great passing skills. She will be looking to build on her All Big Ten freshman team performance of last season.

    Also on the All Big Ten freshman team last season, and the Soccer Buzz regional freshman team, Clare Grimwood will be moving to the midfield from defense. She contributed 7 assists from the back last season, and more will be expected of her in the middle. She could become the star for this team with her speed and passing abilities.

    The forward position should be MUCH improved from last season. The Gophers return leading scorer and offensive MVP, Lindsey Schwartz, who put together a fine freshman season. She will have more help up top this season. Top 75 recruit Kelly Wepking has wowed in practice and has already made an instant impact in the scrimmages. Additionally, 2005 Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year Elena Fruci makes her debut after redshirting last season with injury. The Gophers expect more goals.

    Of the other freshmen outside of Turner and Wepking, Lyndsey Mueller and Sarah Clancy will probably assume starting roles for tomorrow's opener.

    The only x-factor to report is how Renee de St. Aubin will figure into the team's plan this season. She saw limited time in the exhibition, but was an impact player for NCAA bound Iowa State last season. Hopefully her role will increase as she learns the new system.

    Go Gophers!
  2. GopherBob

    GopherBob Member

    Jun 6, 2003
    Minnesota 3 Drake 0

    Good start to the season for the Golden Gophers. Lindsey Schwartz had 1 goal and 2 assists to lead Minnesota in the effort.

    This team has come a long way offensively. While it was only Drake, Elena Fruci brings a presence to this team that will result in a much better offensive effort. That was the best I've ever seen a freshman play in their first real game. Granted she's a redshirt, but Coach Mikki said she has worked 10x harder than anybody else to get healthy and better. It paid off, what a stud. 1 goal but she wreaked havoc on Drake. She will get a look for Big Ten freshman of the year.

    Defense had some lapses, lots of freshmen back there. Lindsay Dare played a great game in net to preserve the shutout though. Drake had some decent opportunities.

    I like this team, they're young, VERY young, but the talent is there.

    This team will be top 10 in 2 years, started all freshman and sophomores except for one junior.

    Seniors? Who needs stinkin' Seniors? :p
  3. GopherBob

    GopherBob Member

    Jun 6, 2003
    Minnesota 2 North Dakota State 0

    A nice win for the Gophers, granted NDSU is no powerhouse. The Dakota schools usually get very pumped to play Minnesota as the U of M is the defacto BCS school of the Dakotas. A bit of a rivalry from their standpoint, a chance to prove themselves, anyway...

    Elena Fruci! I gushed about her in my last write up, she scored two goals today. I LOVE her game! She should've had three but a Bison defender slid in to save the ball from going into the open goal. On her first goal she gathered a lose ball from about 15 yards and slotted it past the keeper. Her second goal came after Kelsey Hood broke down the defense and fed a nice ball to Fruci in front of the open goal for a tap-in.

    The defense played much better than on Friday. The ball-winning was much improved, however, the passing left quite a bit to be desired. The Gophers had too many lapses in the midfield for periods of both halves, but nothing too major. I'm going to harp on it all season, but this is a very young team and a very talented team. As the season progresses, the talented part will begin to eclipse the young part more and more.

    Lindsey Schwartz had a few quality chances, and the addition of Fruci to the forward arsenal means that Lindsey is going to have a lot more room to work with this season after carrying most of the load last season. They work very well together.

    It's so nice watching the renaissance of this program after the Wickstrand Dark Ages. This was one of the top program in the midwest/Big Ten in the mid/late 90s, and has everything in place to become Penn State's top challenger year in and year out. It's going to be a fun season.

    The competition picks up next weeked, with Iowa State and Missouri coming to the Twin Cities.
  4. GopherBob

    GopherBob Member

    Jun 6, 2003
    Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been busy.

    Minnesota defeated Iowa State 2-0 two weeks ago in a nice showing, then hung tooth and nail with upstart Missouri before falling 1-0.

    Last weekend, Minnesota knocked off Army 1-0 and drew with Brown 2-2. Brown was the first team to score more than 1 goal on the Gophers in quite some time, 14 matches or so.

    Lindsey Schwartz and Elena Fruci are tied for the team lead in scoring as both forwards have 3 goals and 2 assists on the young season.

    The 4-1-1 Gophers come home this weekend to host Northern Colorado and Darmouth.
  5. NORML

    NORML Member+

    Aug 9, 2002
    Lake Wobegon, MN
    NSC Minnesota Stars
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    BigTen home opener is this Friday against Northwestern.
    Tickets will only be $1

    Star Tribune article on Coach Mikki Denny Wright and this Fridays game

  6. SoccerKicks

    SoccerKicks Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    Bob, your Gophers got abused by the Badgers today 5-1.
    0 and 4 to open the Big Ten after a promising non-conference start.
  7. RegionIIFutbolr

    Jul 4, 2005
    Region 2
    It will be fun to watch the Gophers play Iowa this coming weekend. Match will be held in Iowa City. Iowa is a much improved team, they played with Penn State this past Friday, score was 3-0 but the Hawks looked good. A lot better than they did against Iowa State.

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