Gophers Dominate in San Diego Only to Lose in OT
After a going into halftime with a 12 to 1 shot advantage and a 2-0 lead, the lady Gophers once again gave up a commanding lead and ended up losing 3-2 in overtime to San Diego.
“Despite this loss, we still think that we can accomplish great things, and that is what we are setting out to do starting tomorrow at training,” said head coach Stefanie Golan. “It was a heartbreaking loss, and we certainly didn’t lose due to lack of effort. But we didn’t bury our opportunities and show composure in the attacking third. Also, we gave up two goals on corners, so that is something we definitely have to fix. Luckily, it is early in the season, and we have time to get better at all these things.”
The Gophers got on the board early with a high pressure offense and had San Diego on the back foot as the Gophers dominated most of the first half.
For the third match in a row Taylor Uhl kicked the scoring off for the Gophers and within the first ten minutes of the match. After pressure from Taylor Wodnick, Steph Brandt received a Torero rebound and laid the ball off to Uhl who slotted the ball low to the left post in the 8th minute.
Eleven minutes later it was Uhl who crossed into the box to find Brandt who touched twice and blasted her shot into the upper 90 to give the Gophers a deserved 2-0 lead.
The Gophers had plenty of chances in the first half with shots that went just inches wide of each post, with their closet chances coming in the 28th minute. Coming in from the right side Becca Roberts went far post and hit the crossbar. Minnesota gobbled up the rebound and laid the ball to the top of the box for Olivia Bagnall who curved her shot to the far right post and also banged the crossbar.
Despite the pressure and multiple scoring opportunities, the Gophers went into the half with what seemed like a comfortable lead, particularly in light of how little pressure USD had put on Minnesota. But a 2nd half foul in the box by Tamara Strahota gave the Toreros’ a PK which Meghan O’Rourke finished cleanly to bring San Diego within one.
The goal seemed to inspire San Diego as they attacked the Gophers much more freely. Still, the Gophers had chances, none better than in the 73rd minute when Katie Thyken played a good cross to Uhl who skied her header up and over goal with an open net in front of her.
With only their second corner of the match, Kelley McCloskey took the kick in the 84th minute which found the head of Dani Russell who nodded in the game-tying goal.
In the 86th minute it was Brandt who looked to be the hero for the Gophers when she took the ball deep and hit it from an acute angle at goal. The ball was deflected away by USD goalkeeper Michelle Craft but in doing so the ball caromed off the near post.
The game went to overtime and even though USD outshot the Gophers, Minnesota kept the Toreros from scoring until just a 1:26 from the final whistle. Meggie Gulczynski took a corner kick which the Gophers allowed to bounce in the goal box before senior defender Lexi Deol got her head on the ball to ripple the netting and give USD a come-from-behind 3-2 win.