In case people didn’t get the memo, the Gophers football team might boast one of the toughest end-of-season schedules of any Big Ten program. It starts with Iowa at home. Next, it’s No. 13 Ohio State at home. Then, the No. 15 Cornhuskers in Nebraska. Finally, the Gophers go to Wisconsin to take on the No. 25 Badgers. Yikes. Out of all those games, it’s arguable that the Hawkeyes are perhaps the least intimidating, which is exactly why the Gophers need to defeat them on Saturday.
Racism, prejudices and hatred have littered the streets of the United States for centuries. People of this nation have perpetually fought to tear down these discriminations, and it was no different Sunday as thousands of people took to University of Minnesota streets to protest the Washington Redskins’ team name.
After being homeschooled in her home state of Rhode Island, Blake Zeiger made a huge transition with her decision to attend the University of Minnesota and join nearly 29,000 other students. A few years later, her sister, Brooke Zeiger, made the same decision. While the change of scenery might have frightened some students, the Zeiger sisters’ performances in the pool show that the women from the smallest state in the country have had no trouble making the switch.
The parking lot outside of Macalester College’s Leonard Center was still at 5:45 a.m. last Thursday morning. Dew from the night’s rain settled onto blades of grass. Streetlights turned off in preparation for the morning sun. The only noise came from the hum of early morning travelers’ engines. But inside the doors of the 6-year-old building, the Macalester’s women’s basketball team was full of energy and excitement as it warmed up inside the Division III school’s gymnasium.
Attempting to project a team’s season based on one intrasquad scrimmage is futile. So while the Minnesota fans and media pundits who attended the men’s basketball scrimmage Sunday can’t predict the Gophers’ performance this season, they picked up on one thing: The team’s newbies will make an impact. And out of all of head coach Richard Pitino’s first-year players, no one did a better job of proving his worth than freshman guard Nate Mason. Mason scored 17 points Sunday evening, hitting five of his eight 3-point attempts.
“Typical Gophers” is perhaps the only way to explain what transpired Saturday afternoon when Minnesota lost to arguably the worst team in the Big Ten. Illinois walked all over the Gophers in the first half, and Minnesota simply couldn’t find a way out of the hole it dug itself into, ending the game with a 28-24 loss. With the Gophers lacking energy and effort, Illinois’ No. 114 defense found a way to bottle up the Gophers’ offense for the first 30 minutes of the game.
Even though Brooke Zeiger is a freshman, the talented young swimmer is competing with a veteran’s confidence. Zeiger took first for Minnesota in both the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle — marking her sixth and seventh victories as a collegiate swimmer. “It was fun [because] I got to switch up from the usual backstroke and [individual medley],” Zeiger said. “[They were] fresh events from what I usually swim.”
For what seemed like the first time in a long time, Minnesota traveled to face the Wisconsin Badgers last weekend as the second-best team in the nation. After tying Minnesota-Duluth the week before, the No. 2 Gophers needed to earn their title back from top-ranked Wisconsin. Though it needed some extra time on Saturday night, Minnesota took care of business in Wisconsin and found itself back on top of the college hockey world Monday. And the Gophers will likely not move in the rankings again for the remainder this season.
The Gophers faced plenty of adversity during their victory against Purdue on Saturday afternoon. Point to the questionable calls by the game’s referees, the defense’s inability to contain Purdue’s speedy skill players, or the fact that the Gophers headed into locker room trailing at halftime and were winless when doing so under head coach Jerry Kill. But like all good teams, Minnesota persevered and found a way to win.
A family emergency kept Daryl Turner from competing against Arizona State in the Gophers’ first dual meet of the season two weeks ago. However, the sophomore made sure his presence was felt Friday night as Minnesota faced off against Wisconsin — winning all four events he competed in. “You don’t know how much I missed this environment,” Turner said. “So I just wanted to come here and do all I could for the team.”
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