The Gophers traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to play the top-ranked Badgers on Friday, hoping for a win to help turn around their struggling season.
Wisconsin entered the night atop the Big Ten standings and No. 12 in the country with a 9-2-1 record. When the final whistle blew, the Gophers found themselves with an all too similar result: falling 1-0.
In the first half, Minnesota struggled to generate offense and were outshot by the Badgers early. Wisconsin took its first shot just over a minute into the game and earned two corner kicks shortly after. The Badgers finished the half with six more corner kicks and eight total shots.
The sustained offensive pressure eventually paid off for Wisconsin, scoring in the 22nd minute as forward Dani Rhodes came charging down the field, putting it past goalkeeper Maddie Nielsen. Despite taking three shots and having two corner kick opportunities after that goal, Minnesota went into the halftime break without a goal.
"My backline was definitely on tonight. It was unfortunate that Wisconsin was able to get one by us but I think that we grew a lot in this game, and we're going to continue using the momentum of the positives ... as we're moving forward." Nielsen said.
Despite their hard work to keep the Badgers from furthering their lead, the Gophers were unable to even the score, despite generating chances in the second half. Both Katie Duong and Marisa Windingstad were able to create shots, but nothing found the back of the net. Their brief momentum was interrupted when junior midfielder Arianna Del Moral went down on the field after falling awkwardly on her left leg.
Nielsen stopped Rhodes on a breakaway with just two minutes left to keep the Badgers to one goal, but the clock ran out with Minnesota scoreless for the tenth time this season.
Windingstad said that even though the team played well to hold Wisconsin to one goal, coming away with another loss was hard.
"It continues to be difficult to play so well throughout the games, whether it's 90 minutes or more, but not come out with any result whether that's a win or a draw," she said.
With almost a week between games, Windingstad said the team will return home with a few days to recover mentally and physically, which will help the team focus on finishing the season strong.
Minnesota returns to Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. for a matchup against Nebraska.