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Megan Ryan

Reporter | College sports
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Megan Ryan is a sports reporter at the Star Tribune covering colleges.


Ryan covered the Minnesota United FC during its first two years of existence. She previously spent two years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covering Penn State football, Robert Morris basketball and high school sports. A Minnesota native and Minneapolis resident, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a major in journalism and minors in management and global studies. She has lived in Pennsylvania, Texas (covering the real Friday Night Lights for the Dallas Morning News) and New York (as a sports copy editor for a summer through the Dow Jones News Fund).
Recent content from Megan Ryan
Rashod Bateman set freshman records for the Gophers last season with 51 receptions for 704 yards.

U receiver Bateman looks to build on record-setting freshman season

With both added weight and experience, Rashod Bateman says he believes he's taken his game to another level and is an all-around better player.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck earlier this month.

Gophers preparing for today's lone training camp scrimmage

Coach P.J. Fleck said he wants to find out what some of the younger players can do in a game-like situation.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck says Mohamed Ibrahim “plays the game the right way.”

Ibrahim proved himself with Gophers when given the ball

Mohamed Ibrahim is eager to build off his remarkable freshman season.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) passed the ball during practice Saturday.

Injury ends Gophers quarterback battle. But who'll back up Morgan?

Zack Annexstad's foot injury means the starting QB battle is over, with Tanner Morgan behind center, and the backup will be a true freshman.
] MARK VANCLEAVE • Gophers wide receiver Tyler Johnson photographed Tuesday, Jul 30, 2019 near Dundas, Minn.

'Northside for life!' Gophers star Johnson an agent for hope

When Tyler Johnson earned a football scholarship to play for the University of Minnesota, north Minneapolis traveled the five miles to campus with him. The journey began with a choice he made well before arriving on campus.
Zack Annexstad during the spring football game in April

Gophers lose QB Annexstad to 'serious' foot injury

Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said quarterback Zack Annexstad felt a "pop" in his foot on Friday. Fellow sophomore Tanner Morgan becomes the likely starter, at least for the team's Aug. 29 opener vs. South Dakota State.
Antoine Winfield Jr., returned from left foot surgery for the Gophers during spring practice in March.

Five Gophers to watch at Saturday's open football practice

The Gophers opened training camp Wednesday, but Saturday will be their first practice in full pads, and one of three open to the public.
Gophers Coach P.J. Fleck hugged running back Rodney Smith before the Gophers faced Buffalo in the 2017 season opener.

Gophers list reasons why football season should bring more success

With training camp opening Monday, the team's veterans and coach P.J. Fleck can't wait to see how the season unfolds - one that features a more experienced team and a favorable schedule.
Gophers quarterbacks Tanner Morgan (2) and Zack Annexstad

Morgan, Annexstad neck and neck in 'very equal' Gophers QB duel

Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad split time last year, with Morgan taking over for injured Annexstad about halfway through the season.
Outgoing Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany brought up the idea of dropping divisions after last season. The conference wants more of its teams in the Co

Big Ten football considers getting rid of East, West divisions

First, there was Legends and Leaders. Now, there is East and West. Soon, there will be … nothing? Why do some people think this would be a good idea?
After 15 years Minnesota took back Paul Bunyan’s Axe with a victory at Camp Randall Stadium and gave the division foes’ rivalry a shot in the arm.

Axe is Fleck's latest motivational tool; Badgers don't see it that way

From P.J. Fleck's perspective, a 14-year drought caused Gophers fans to doubt that Paul Bunyon's Axe would ever return to Minnesota.
The Gophers’ P.J. Fleck did not attract as much media attention as some other coaches did at Big Ten Media Days, but he was his energetic self as us

Young, scrappy, hungry: Fleck, Gophers out to prove 'experts' wrong

The Gophers were picked sixth in the Big Ten West by one preseason poll, and the team is using a mantra from the musical "Hamilton" for what their legacies could be.
Ryan Day, Ohio State’s offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer, is taking over a team that went 12-1 with a win over Washington in the Rose Bowl.

5 Big Ten Media Days story lines to watch for Gophers, others

Ohio State has a new head coach, and its rivals are hoping to pounce this season.
The honored athletes gathered around former Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player Jack Jablonski and the Timberwolves’ Josh Okogie before the banquet

All-Metro Sports Awards honor best of Minnesota high school sports

The Star Tribune's All-Metro Sports Awards honor the best of Minnesota high school sports for the 2018-19 school year. The gala was held at U.S. Bank Stadium on Tuesday night.
Coach P.J. Fleck

Recruits warm up to U football as program adapts to new rules

Being able to bring southern players to Minneapolis on recruiting visits without the risk of snow and subzero windchills has helped the Gophers' recruiting process.
Justin Smith, who hit the putt that clinched the 2002 NCAA golf title for the Gophers, was officially named Gophers men's golf coach Monday.

New Gophers coach wants his golfers to experience an NCAA title, too

While Justin Smith first joined the program as an assistant in 2014, his tenure with the Gophers actually started back in 2000 as a golfer.
USA forward Paul Arriola, center, celebrates his goal with teammates Gyasi Zardes (9), from left, Tyler Boyd (21) and Weston Mckennie (8) during the f

U.S. begins Gold Cup quest with shutout victory at Allianz Field

The U.S. beat Guyana 4-0, and scored first in the 28th minute from forward Paul Arriola.
U.S. national team players, who practiced Monday in Blaine, don’t want to look back after failing to make the World Cup.

U.S. men's soccer team wants to stop being 'butt of every joke'

A new coach and fresh talent will be trying to exorcise an epic World Cup failure in 2017 in a CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament game against Guyana in St. Paul.
Darwin Quintero of the Loons and Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City fought for the ball in the second half.

Quintero backs up his words as Loons advance in U.S. Open Cup

With a break in the MLS schedule for the U.S. Open Cup, Loons' playmaker Darwin Quintero wasn't ready to relax. He scored twice and had an assist in Wednesday's 4-1 victory over Sporting KC.
Loons defender Ike Opara, an ex- Sporting Kansas City player, credits its Open Cup success to taking those matches seriously.

Loons seek payback vs. nemesis Sporting KC in U.S. Open Cup

In nine MLS and Open Cup games against Sporting Kansas City since 2014, Minnesota United has won just once.
There were plenty of empty seats at Mariucci for a game between the Gophers and Michigan Wolverines on Feb. 1.

Gophers athletics department juggles mix of debt vs. revenue

Declining attendance at sporting events on campus and loan repayments have offset profits the Gophers made from Big Ten TV contracts. "Athletics, like all units of the university, is under budget pressure," outgoing President Eric Kaler said.
The Gophers’ Amber Fiser accepts the workload demanded of the team’s No. 1 pitcher.

Gophers' Fiser ready for more after going the distance in super regional

Gophers ace Amber Fiser has pitched every inning of the NCAA tournament so far, leading them to Thursday's start of the College World Series against UCLA.
Gophers pitcher Amber Fiser was mobbed by teammates after getting the win on Saturday, sending Minnesota to the College World Series.

OKC bound: Gophers softball clinches first College World Series berth

Amber Fiser was again dominant in the circle, and Allie Arneson's solo home run in the top of the fifth inning provided an offensive spark to send the Gophers to Oklahoma City.
Gophers coach Jamie Trachsel congratulated outfielder Maddie Houlihan as she rounded third after hitting a solo home run vs. LSU.

Houlihan's homer helps Gophers settle into NCAA super regional win

Maddie Houlihan's solo homer off the first pitch in the bottom of the third inning nullified LSU's lead en route to the No. 7 seed Gophers' 5-3 victory Friday.

Gophers softball coach taking team to new heights

When Jamie Trachsel took the job as Gophers softball coach, she inherited a No.?1-ranked program that the NCAA had just controversially passed on for playing host to a regional.
Under coach Jamie Trachsel, the Gophers softball team has a better defense but is still hitting homers and pitching well.

'Why not us?' Trachsel took Gophers softball to new heights quickly

In just her second season, Jamie Trachsel led the Gophers softball team to its first super regional at home.
Gophers softball teammates hugged pitcher Amber Fiser (center) after she struck out a batter to end Monday's 8-1 victory over Georgia.

Gophers knock out Georgia, ready for LSU in softball super regional

The No. 7 seed Gophers will be a super regional host for the first time, when 10th-seeded Louisiana State visits for a besto-f-3 series and a spot in the College World Series.
The Gophers' Katelyn Kemmetmueller slid home to score a run as North Dakota State pitcher KK Leddy ran in to cover the plate Friday night in Minnesota

Gophers shut out North Dakota State in NCAA softball regional

Behind Amber Fiser's three-hitter and 12 strikeouts, the Gophers beat the Bison and will face Georgia (41-17), who beat Drake 6-4 in eight innings earlier Friday, at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Gophers junior righthander Amber Fiser earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Year honors while her father battled prostate cancer.

U softball ace Fiser finds strengths during father's cancer battle

Junior pitcher Amber Fiser credits teammates' support for her standout season heading into the NCAA tournament, which begins tonight with Minnesota playing North Dakota State.
Georgia's Ciara Bryan is hitting .329 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI this season.

Gophers NCAA softball regional preview

Gophers coach Jamie Trachsel is no stranger to her opponent on Friday night.

Big Ten softball title scenarios, with Gophers in pursuit

The Gophers are in a tight three-way race for the Big Ten title.
Ben Brinkman committed to the Gophers when he was a 15-year-old freshman at Edina High School, before the NCAA changed its recruiting rules.

College hockey alters recruiting landscape with new rules

Earlier this month, the NCAA's Division I Council approved changes to men's hockey recruiting timelines as a way to keep early commitments in check.
Blake Cashman

Cashman one of three Twin Cities prep stars taken in fourth, fifth rounds

Two of them — U's Cashman, Wisconsin's Connelly — went to Eden Prairie
Gophers catcher Eli Wilson.

Super regional to under .500: U baseball struggling to find success

The 2018 team was historically good. This 2019 one — at least so far — isn't. While the Gophers have a nucleus of key players returning, some haven't played as well as they did last season.
Maroon quarterback Zack Annexstad (5) passed for 191 yards and a touchdown against Gold in the spring football game.

Gophers' quarterback battle will last into training camp

Neither Zack Annexstad nor Tanner Morgan gained an advantage during Saturday's spring game. "We're going to need both guys at some point," coach P.J. Fleck said.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck is pleased with the team’s foundation heading into his third spring game, on Saturday at the Athletes Village.

Fleck hopes Gophers' framework continues to sprout during spring game

This spring game will have a slightly different feel, with this week's snow forcing the Gophers to move it from TCF Bank Stadium to their indoor practice facility.
The Gophers football team practiced Tuesday at TCO Performance Center in Eagan, home of the Vikings. The decision to move practice before Saturday’s

Gophers hold practice at Vikings facility in Eagan

Coach P.J. Fleck moved practice from Athletes Village on campus to TCO Performance Center to reinvigorate his squad after several weeks of spring practice.
Virginia Cavaliers forward Mamadi Diakite

Cavaliers dismiss karma, revel in redemption

"We just keep going after it. We don't give up," Mamadi Diakite said.
Texas Tech guard Brandone Francis (1), from the Dominican Republic, conducts his postgame interviews in English and Spanish.

Skills of foreign players for Texas Tech, Virginia translate well

Texas Tech and Virginia players born outside of the U.S. overcome language contrasts to blend in.
Rem Pitlick played against the Wild last month. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com – St. Paul, MN – March 25, 2019, Xcel Energy Cente

Ex-Gophers star Pitlick adjusting on the fly to life as a pro

Since signing with Nashville in late March, the former Gopher is getting a crash course on the NHL life. "I just feel like a rookie all the time,'' he says.
While Michigan State players participated in interviews in their locker room, two video games awaited.

Video games in locker room let players relax on Final Four weekend

The machines will stay in place Friday and Sunday but disappear Saturday and Monday — game days.
Coach P.J. Fleck raves about Gophers wide receiver Tyler Johnson and how hard he works to keep improving. Johnson will be the first in his immediate f

Receiver Johnson glad to be back with Gophers

He's close to graduating, becoming the first of his parents and four younger siblings to earn a college diploma, and that's one of the main factors keeping Tyler Johnson with the Gophers for another season.
Bryce Brown

Why Auburn can win the national championship

Kentucky. Kansas. North Carolina. What do those three schools have in common? They rank as the top-three winningest teams in the college basketball. What else?…
Auburn players celebrate with injured teammate Chuma Okeke, left, after the Midwest Regional final game against Kentucky

Auburn finds inspiration, works OT to top Kentucky for first Final Four

Auburn soared after injured teammate Chuma Okeke showed up on the sideline Sunday. After the win, the Tigers join Texas Tech as Final Four first-timers next week at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Trainers assist Auburn's Chuma Okeke after he was injured during the second half vs. North Carolina. Okeke tore the ACL in his knee and will undergo s

SEC rivals Kentucky, Auburn overcome adversity to reach Midwest final

Auburn readies for Kentucky's challenge on Sunday without fallen teammate Chuma Okeke, who tore the ACL in his left knee and will undergo surgery Tuesday.
North Carolina's Luke Maye is trying to become a Final Four hero for the second time in his college career.

North Carolina vs. Auburn prediction: Our NCAA tournament game breakdown

The Tar Heels and Tigers could be a track meet.
The Gophers on Wednesday held their annual pro day, where departing players work out for NFL scouts. Blake Cashman (left) had a successful trip to the

Cashman's never-ending job interview continues on U's 'pro day'

For NFL prospect Blake Cashman, "pro day" at the U was another examination after a series of tests from the NFL combine, to phone and FaceTime interviews, to team workouts.
The Gophers' Mohamed Ibrahim had a big season last year filling in for injured running backs Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks.

Gophers' Ibrahim says he can still learn from Brooks, Smith

The sophomore rushed for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns last season when Smith and Brooks were out because of knee injuries.
Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Rem Pitlick (15) attempted a shot in the second period against the Michigan Wolverines.

Gophers top scorer Pitlick leaves early for deal with NHL's Predators

Pitlick's 21 goals and 24 assists as a junior ranked him as one of the most prolific scorers in college hockey this season.
Gophers coach Bob Motzko says he misjudged his team’s talents at first.

Departures leave Gophers hockey with younger squad next season

The Gophers are losing nine seniors plus goalie Mat Robson, which could leave them without a huge leadership group. Leading scorer Rem Pitlick could depart, too.
Former Gophers goalie Mat Robson reached out his glove for a save against Wisconsin this January.

Gophers goalie Robson leaves school to sign deal with Wild

The move leaves the Gophers without a starting goaltender for next season. Mat Robson will report to the Wild, which is back in action Tuesday vs. Colorado.
Gophers senior defenseman Jack Sadek reacted to Notre Dame’s game-winning goal Saturday.

Controversial ending to U season has hockey world buzzing

Gophers hockey coach Bob Motzko called it after his team's 2-1 overtime loss in the Big Ten semifinals. "It's going to blow up everywhere, how this thing ended."
Louisville head coach Chris Mack

Louisville succeeding again in a scandal's wake

Coach Chris Mack told the Louisville Courier-Journal that this season was like starting with a blank slate.
Wild right wing J.T. Brown was among several players who warmed up with stick blades taped with rainbow colors on the night of the Wild’s annual “

NHL bolsters its diversity efforts, though change is slow

The National Hockey League has taken steps to reach minority groups and get rid of homophobic language.
Gophers football notes: Winfield Jr. a big presence in first contact drill

Gophers football notes: Winfield Jr. a big presence in first contact drill

Antoine Winfield Jr., who had surgery on his foot last season, and the Gophers wrapped up their first week of spring ball Friday.
“I know what kind of football team we have. I know our personality. I know what we want to become.”
Gophers coach P. J. Fleck

Fleck brimming with confidence as U opens spring football practice

Fleck's goal this spring is to master the Gophers' offense and defense. In essence, he laid the foundation in year one, he cemented that knowledge in year two and now it's all about perfecting.
Gophers forward Tommy Novak skated at Michigan goalie Strauss Mann. Novak scored the game’s first goal at 5:25 of the opening period.

Three first-period goals starts Gophers' rout of Michigan

The victory moved Minnesota into the Big Ten tournament's single-elimination semifinals.
There were lots of empty seats during Minnesota's game against Michigan.

Sparse crowd sees Gophers men's hockey score OT victory over Michigan

A crowd announced at 1,835 witnessed the home team rally from a two-goal deficit in the first game of a best-of-three series.
Gophers coach P. J. Fleck greeted then-freshman quarterback Zack Annexstad before last year’s game against New Mexico State.

Fleck: 2019 U football should be aided by 'experienced' youth

Coach P.J. Fleck said the Gophers have more experienced underclassmen than most teams in the nation, citing Tennessee and Utah as other examples.
Gophers forward Rem Pitlick, top right, celebrated with teammates after his first period goal against the Michigan Wolverines last month.

Seniors step up, Gophers hockey sweeps Arizona State

The Gophers skated toward next week's Big Ten tournament in style, completing a home sweep over the No. 12 Sun Devils to finish out the regular season.
Gophers forward Rem Pitlick, top right, celebrated with teammates after his first period goal against Michigan last month. The Gophers won 5-1 over Ar

Gophers hockey continues hot stretch, winning 5-1 over Arizona State

Friday night's home victory over the 12th-ranked Sun Devils is the Gophers' fourth in the past five games.
Rem Pitlick, the No. 1 center for the Gophers hockey team, knows his way around the kitchen and often eats at home instead of at the dining hall.

Personal chef: Gophers' Pitlick takes healthy eating into his own hands

Gophers' leading scorer Rem Pitlick finds cooking is a way for the NHL hopeful to control what he eats and thus optimize his performance on the ice.
Gophers forward Tommy Novak

Novak points Gophers to sudden power-play success

Coach Bob Motzko ignited the Gophers' recent power-play success by moving senior Tommy Novak to the blue line.
Michigan forward Nick Pastujov was upended as he was challenged by Gophers forward Nathan Burke during Friday night's loss. The Gophers won on Saturda

Sheehy's big game gives Gophers hockey a split with Michigan

Senior captain Tyler Sheehy was in the mix for every goal, scoring one and assisting three to give him points in 17 of the past 18 games.
Gophers goaltender Mat Robson and defenseman Clayton Phillips stopped the initial shot of Michigan forward Will Lockwood, but Lockwood scored off the

Little to like in Gophers' loss to Michigan to open weekend series

The Wolverines scored twice in the second period, and outshot the Gophers 45-26 on Friday night.
Freshman Ben Brinkman has played in all 25 of the Gophers’ games after skipping his senior season at Edina.

Gophers' Brinkman thriving after skipping senior year at Edina

Defenseman Ben Brinkman's size and calm nerves have smoothed the transition. Coach Bob Motzko said he has "far exceeded" expectations.
Teammates celebrated with Gophers forward Brent Gates Jr. after his first period goal against Ferris State in December.

Crazy third period ends with Gophers hockey beating Wisconsin 9-4

The Gophers and Badgers combined for nine goals in the final 20 minutes of action, but the Gophers never relinquished their lead Friday at 3M Arena at Mariucci
Gophers defenseman Clayton Phillips and forward Brannon McManus celebrated McManus’ second goal against Minnesota Duluth. They have had to adjust to

Gophers looking at switching to smaller ice sheet - eventually

Varying sizes of ice sheets around college hockey venues have the Gophers adjusting as they travel and when they get home.
Without Kelly Pannek last season, the Gophers missed out on the Frozen Four for the first time since 2011.

Olympic gold medalist Pannek has unfinished business as a Gopher

Kelly Pannek, now a senior, will lead the No. 2 Gophers women's hockey team in a showdown against No. 1 Wisconsin this weekend, with a potential regular-season WCHA title on the line.
Alex Marinellie of Iowa reacted after he pinned Carson Brolsma on Sunday..

No. 4 Iowa wrestlers beat No. 7 Gophers in front of sold-out crowd

Iowa sophomore Austin DeSanto bounced on the mat, waving his arms up and down before putting his hands to his ear to encourage the Maturi Pavilion crowd's boos.
Gophers forward Brent Gates Jr.

Winger Gates keeps even keel amid Gophers' hockey struggles

Brent Gates Jr., whose father played major league baseball, is candid about his struggling team early in the year while doing his best to lead by example.
Life after the 'C.' Staal, others can thrive without being team captain

Life after the 'C.' Staal, others can thrive without being team captain

When former captains, such as the Wild's Eric Staal, come into their new team's locker room, they have to recalibrate from being the main voice to becoming part of the ensemble.
Gophers left wing Brent Gates Jr. (10) celebrated with teammates Tyler Nanne (29) and Tyler Sheehy (22) after scoring a goal in the second period.

Gophers finally break through to beat Penn State, winning 4-1

Brent Gates Jr. scored the go-ahead goal for the Gophers, his fifth consecutive game with a score.
Gophers head coach Bob Motzko, during a game last weekend.

Penn State again gets the better of Gophers hockey, winning 4-2

The Nittany Lions scored three consecutive goals to take the opening game of the weekend series.
Failed whacks at the puck by (from left) Charlie Coyle, Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise summed up the Wild’s frustration Tuesday.

Wild's missed second chances adding up, causing players to tighten up

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on Wednesday noted the pressure players felt as the Wild racked up misfires Tuesday's shutout home loss to the Sharks.
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