Despite a strong showing against SEC teams last week, the Gophers left the weekend still searching for their first win of the season in women's soccer. On Thursday, they took the field at home for the first time, hoping it may change their fortunes — yet when the final whistle sounded, the win column remained blank.
Minnesota kicked of the game with a strong offensive start, which is something they identified they needed to work on after last week. In the first half, the Gophers outshot the Marquette Golden Eagles 9-2 with six of those shots on goal.
Minnesota's defense was also hard at work to prevent chances from Marquette, who were unable to get a shot until 33:52 into the first half. Marquette's offense picked up as the clock wound down in the first half, and Josie Kelderman managed to score unassisted after a scramble following a free kick with just under five minutes left in the first half of the game.
While having chances to get ahead on the scoreboard, the Gophers returned from halftime having to fight an uphill battle. Minnesota was still leading in shots in the second half and generating quality chances, but were unable to put the pieces together tie it up. The loss moves the team to 0-3-2 for the season.
Head coach Stefanie Golan said that while the team started off with good offensive chances, not being able to capitalize early left the game open for Marquette.
"We had opportunities to put the game away and we didn't," she said. "The longer you let a team stay in it, they had two opportunities on goal and one of those goes in... you find yourself losing a game one-zero."
Freshman Katie Duong stood out offensively in both halves. The midfielder logged a full 90 minutes in her second start for the Gophers. She had two of the Gophers' 13 shots by the end of the night with one on goal, also taking several free and corner kicks for the team. Coach Golan said her dynamic play made the team dangerous, and her play of the set piece in the second half was strong.
Despite the final score, senior Nikki Albrecht was positive about the level of play the team put out.
"The possession we had was incredible," Albrecht said. "It's the best Gopher soccer I've seen us play yet so far ... the biggest thing now for us is can we execute, can we finish in those moments."
The Gophers will travel to play the University of Virginia on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 11 a.m.