The Gophers women’s soccer team edged Michigan 1-0 on Friday afternoon in the first semifinal of the Big Ten tournament at Robbie Stadium.
Minnesota’s Julianna Gernes scored the only goal in the eighth minute. Josee Stiever started the play, stealing the ball in the lower left side, then rushing the net. Her shot from just outside the 6-yard box bounced off the right post and past Wolverines goalkeeper Sarah Jackson to the middle of the box.
An unguarded Gernes had an open net and tapped her shot high into it. It was the sixth goal of the season for the junior striker from Hill-Murray and third in as many matches. It was Stiever’s team-high ninth assists
“Our team showed a lot of patience in this game, and the best looks of the game came from our pressure,” Gophers coach Stefanie Golan said.
Minnesota (15-3-3), the No. 1 seed in the field, led fourth-seeded Michigan (10-5-4) in shots (13-7), shots on goal (5-3) and corner kicks (6-2).
Junior Tarah Hobbs was credited the shutout, the 32nd of her career.
“To get on the board early was a good feeling,” said Golan, whose team had tied Michigan 0-0 in their previous two meetings this year, on Oct. 16 and in 2015.
Big Ten regular-season tri-champion Minnesota, ranked No. 8 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, will play Rutgers at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The seventh-seeded Scarlet Knights upset Northwestern, another conference tri-champion, 1-0 in Friday’s other semifinal on Colby Ciarrocca’s goal in the seventh minute.
The Gophers did not play Rutgers (12-3-6) this season, but last year Minnesota lost twice to the Scarlet Knights in New Brunswick, N.J., 3-1 late in the regular season and 4-1 in the conference tournament quarterfinals.
Rutgers, in its third conference tournament final in four years, beat second seed and defending NCAA champion Penn State 2-0 in the quarterfinals.
• Bethel’s volleyball team will play at Gustavus at 7 p.m. Saturday in the MIAC playoffs title match. It’s a rematch of last year’s final when the Gusties won 3-1.
• The men’s tennis team from St. Paul Indoor Tennis Club, representing the USTA Northern Section, captured the national title at the USTA League Adult 55 & Over 7.0 National Championships held at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz. It defeated San Gabriel Valley 2-1 in the title match. Eric Narvaez was the team captain.
• Players on the Gophers men’s tennis team won 10 matches in singles and eight in doubles on the first day of the Gopher Invite at the Baseline Tennis Center. Felix Corwin and Matic Spec won twice in doubles and once in their singles matches.
• The Gophers women’s tennis team went 4-4 in doubles matches in the Kitty Harrison Invitational at Duke. Annemarie Emme and Camilia Vargas Gomez went 2-0. In singles, Minnesota players were 0-9.
• The host Gophers swept North Dakota in swimming and diving, the men winning 199-96, the women 203-90.
• St. Catherine’s volleyball coach Corey Phelps resigned after seven seasons.