Going into the final regular season game, the Gophers soccer team needs a win or some help to get into the Big Ten Tournament.
The top eight teams make it, but the middle of the standings are bunched up right now.
The simplest way for Minnesota (7-9-2, 4-4-2 Big Ten) to get into the tournament is to defeat Nebraska on Friday night. That would give it 17 points and the fifth seed in the tournament.
Head coach Mikki Denney Wright does not want her team over-thinking Nebraska or all of the scenarios that could come from the game.
“We just focus on performing well,” Denney Wright said. “I’m just trying to get them to focus on doing the things well that we can do well — so just the details of team defending, team possession and team execution.”
If the Gophers don’t win, things get more complicated
If Minnesota loses to Nebraska, it would need three of the following four things to happen to get in: a Michigan draw or loss to Illinois, an Iowa loss to Wisconsin, a Purdue loss to Penn State or an Ohio State loss to Indiana.
Confused? There’s more.
If the Gophers draw with Nebraska, they would finish the season with 15 points and need two of these four things to happen: a Michigan draw or loss to Illinois, an Iowa draw or loss to Wisconsin, a Purdue draw or loss to Wisconsin or an Ohio State draw or loss to Indiana.
The key to getting into the tournament and winning in the tournament is consistency, according to Denney Wright,
“At this point I’m just trying to get them to be consistent,” Denney Wright said. “We’re such an inconsistent team, but we’ve been good on Friday nights and it is going to be a great battle — I can tell you that.”
Denney Wright said motivating the team for Friday night has not been an issue.
“They’re excited,” she said. “I think this group’s felt pressure all year so I don’t think it’s anything different.”
Junior defender Marissa Price echoed Denney Wright’s excitement.
“We’re pumped up and ready to play,” Price said. “We have one game to focus on, one game to put all of our energy into. Everyone’s super excited.”
Playing meaningful games this late into the season could help the Gophers in the tournament, according to Price.
“We play great under pressure,” Price said. “It fits our style of play.”
Nebraska currently has 12 points, two behind Minnesota. Like the Gophers, the Cornhuskers can land anywhere from the fifth to the seventh seed in the tournament or miss it completely.
Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue and Nebraska are all vying for the tournament’s three remaining seeds.
Penn State has locked up the No. 1 seed, Illinois the No. 2. Wisconsin and Michigan will be the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds; this weekend’s games will determine which school gets which seed. Host school Northwestern is guaranteed the eighth seed.
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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