Senior April Bockin netted the game-winner while junior T.J. McKendrick scored her first career goal for the Gophers, who upset No. 12 Northwestern 2-0 in a Big Ten soccer match Sunday at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.
“They did it together,” Gophers coach Stefanie Golan said. “They showed a lot of grit. They knew Sundays in the Big Ten are a grind and our seniors stepped up, worked super hard and everybody followed along.”
Senior goalkeeper Maddie Nielsen set the tone for the shutout with a huge diving save on a penalty kick after Bockin was called for a hand ball violation in the eighth minute. Nielsen made four saves.
The Gophers’ back line of Delaney Stekr, Marisa Windingstad, Athena Kuehn and Nikki Albrecht stood strong as a unit, playing all 90 minutes. They allowed just two first-half shots, one on goal, and no corner kicks in the second half.
Bockin found herself in the spotlight after the Gophers (5-4-0, 1-1-0) drew a foul on the Wildcats (6-1-2, 0-1-1) in the penalty box in the 25th minute. Taking advantage, Bockin scored the first goal for Minnesota against Northwestern since Oct. 14, 2012, on the penalty kick.
With the Gophers on a counterattack in the 71st minute, Molly Fiedler won a loose ball and passed it right to Megan Gray. Gray sent a cross to the far post, where McKendrick put away her first collegiate goal.
Fielder’s 21st assist moved her to ninth all-time in program history.
The Gophers, who have won the past four home meetings against Northwestern, ended a four-match losing streak to the Wildcats. The top-15 win is the first for the Gophers since defeating No. 4 Penn State on Sept. 20, 2015.