Minnesota 3, Northwestern 1

Nov. 6, 2008

Minnesota (19-2, 8-2) opened the 2008 Big Ten Women’s Soccer Tournament by defeating Northwestern, 3-1. The Golden Gophers have been resilient offensively throughout the regular season, outscoring their opponents 34-7, but the first half of the quarterfinal game represented otherwise.

Minnesota popped off only four shots on Northwestern goalkeeper Carolyn Edwards in the first half, while Northwestern (10-9-1, 5-5) managed nine opportunities on its attacking end. The Wildcats matched their total shots-on-goal the last time the teams met in a 2-0 Minnesota shutout Oct. 26.

Northwestern netted a goal in the 34th minute after their previous seven attempts were unsuccessful. Sophomore Sam Greene’s corner found teammate Jennifer Baumann in the box, and Baumann finished by heading the ball past Minnesota’s all-Big Ten goalkeeper Lindsey Dare. Anticipating the long cross, Dare was positioned at the far post, allowing Baumann to score her second goal of the season in the opposite corner.

After the halftime rest, Minnesota returned rejuvenated and tied the game in the 49th minute on Kaitlin Wagner’s breakaway down the right sideline. Wagner was assisted by teammate Clare Grimwood’s cross from midfield.

Continuing its second half offensive surge, Minnesota freshman Tamara Strahota drew Edwards out of the goal box in the 49th minute. Strahota’s kick was deflected but second team all-Big Ten forward Lindsey Schwartz followed close behind and had a wide open net to score. Schwartz’s offensive strike marks her seventh goal of the season and gave Minnesota the lead with 30 minutes left in regulation.

In the 70th minute, Schwartz heeled a cross to teammate Kylie Kallman off Minnesota’s corner. Kallman aimed the ball just above Edwards’ fingertips to net her first goal of the season.

Minnesota’s relentless second half offense finished with 14 shots-on-goals, securing its 3-1 victory over the Wildcats. The Golden Gophers will move on to the semifinals to play the winner of No. 3 Purdue and No 6 Ohio State. Northwestern finishes the 2008 season with a 10-9-1 record.

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