After playing eight of its last 10 games away from Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, the Gophers soccer team will finish its Big Ten schedule at home.
“The way the Big Ten has worked out we’ve just traveled an enormous amount this year,” head coach Mikki Denney Wright said. “I think it’s just good for our kids [to be home]. They’re also in school so it helps them a lot with their studies.”
Minnesota (6-8-2, 3-3-2 Big Ten) will host Indiana on Friday and Purdue on Sunday.
“I’ve got to give this group a lot of credit — we’ve definitely dug deep, nothing has come easy,” Denney Wright said. “I’ve told them they’ve taken the hardest way up the mountain so I’m really impressed with their perseverance.”
According to Denney Wright, many of her players seem to be playing their best soccer of the year right now.
The Gophers sit tied for sixth in the Big Ten and will need a strong weekend as both teams they will play are below them in the standings. The top eight teams in conference at the end of the year play in the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 2-6.
Minnesota is coming off a weekend in which it lost to Illinois before rebounding with junior Allie Phillips’ game-winner to beat Northwestern 1-0.
“[The Northwestern win] was extremely important because we’re kind of on the edge to get into the Big Ten Tournament,” Phillips said. “That was a huge win.”
Phillips, who started 18 games as a freshman and eight as a sophomore, has adapted to being called on to come off the bench.
“You just have to be mentally prepared every time you come off the bench so that when you come on the field you’re making the game better and your touch is on,” Phillips said.
Denney Wright used only two substitutes Sunday and has used fewer subs in general near the end of the season.
“When you’re a possession-orientated team you really can use very few subs,” Denney Wright said. “This time of year our kids are super fit. It’s the end of the year [and] they’ve played a lot of minutes, so we don’t have a fitness issue right now.”
Although the end of the regular season is quickly approaching, Phillips said that there are still ways that the team can improve.
“We haven’t gotten as many opportunities as we want to so I think we need to finish more chances,” Phillips said. “I think our defending has been good but finishing more chances would be good.”
Indiana is coming off a weekend in which it lost to Purdue 8-2 and Michigan State 2-1 in overtime.
Junior Orianica Velasquez leads the Hoosiers in scoring with seven goals and two assists.
After beating Indiana, the Boilermakers lost to Michigan 3-1 last weekend. Senior Kellie Phillips and freshman Alex Hairston are tied for Purdue’s team lead in goals with six. Chinyelu Asher was Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week last week.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
When UMN students plan for a vacation, having trip cancellation travel insurance is a worthwhile commodity to check out.
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