Sept. 29, 2006
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Kelsey Hans (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville) scored in the second minute of the match and it was all the offense Northwestern needed. The Wildcats knocked off the Minnesota Golden Gophers Friday night in their first Big Ten road contest, 1-0.
With the win, the 'Cats improve to 6-5, 2-1 in the Big Ten. The defeat drops Minnesota to 6-4-1, 0-3 in conference.
The Wildcats put pressure on the defensive-minded Gophers from the opening kick. Sophomore Jenny Dunn (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Louisville) made a run and beat a defender to the end line. Dunn sent a cross inside Minnesota's six-yard box. Hans' tried to finish the one-timer, but the Gopher net minder saved her first shot. The junior stayed with the play and put the rebound into the back of the net for the goal. The tally at the 1:05 mark was Hans' fourth goal of 2006 and the 25th of her career. Dunn registered her second assist of the year.
Northwestern did not rest with their one-goal lead. The 'Cats created scoring opportunities throughout the match. Senior Tori Bohannon (Neenah, Wis./Neenah) hit the post with a shot in the 31st minute and freshman Zendzi Neal (Washington, D.C./Washington International) was denied in the 81st minute.
Junior goalie Lauren Johnson (Denver, Colo./Denver East) helped protect the slim lead by making four saves.
"Our whole team was on tonight," head coach Stephanie Erickson said. "We came right at them from the start and played our best game of the year. We put together 90 minutes of solid soccer."
The 'Cats out shot the Gophers 10-7 and won the corner kick battle, 11-1. Northwestern's 81 corners lead the Big Ten.
Coach Erickson's squad played its first road game in more than a month under lights and ominous skies in Minneapolis in front of 1,011 fans. Although it was a different atmosphere, the 'Cats remained unfazed.
"Night games have a different energy," Erickson said. "It was a good energy and playing front of so many people was definitely exciting."
The Wildcats return to action at noon CT Sunday, Oct. 6, at Ohio State.