Olivia Herrick shot a 1-under 71 on Thursday at Dellwood Country Club, her home course, to take a one-stroke lead in the Minnesota Women’s State Open.

Anni Heck of Southview CC is second at 72, while Lisa Grimes of Alexandria Golf Club is third at 73.

“I feel very comfortable out here,” Herrick said. “I struggled a bit on the front today and was able to compose myself on the back and roll in a few birdies down the stretch.”

Herrick has 24 amateur victories in state tournaments since 2006, including the Women’s State Open in 2011.

U soccer to open

The Gophers women’s soccer team opens its season at Utah at 8 p.m. Friday. Minnesota was 11-5-3 last season, and second in the Big Ten race.

The Gophers, who return five starters, are 1-0 all-time vs. Utah, beating the Utes 3-0 in 2016.

Loons loan player

Minnesota United FC announced it loaned defender Bertrand Owundi Eko’o to the Charlotte Independence of the United Soccer League. The loan agreement contains a right of recall for MLS.

Owundi, 24, played 90 minutes in the Loons’ 2-1 friendly loss to Deportivo Saprissa on July 11 but hasn’t been in an MLS game.

Skjei in benefit game

Former Gophers defenseman Brady Skjei of the New York Rangers was added to the lineup of USA Hockey’s Stars and Stripes Showdown on Aug. 26 in Plymouth, Mich. The benefit game honors the late Jim Johannson, a longtime USA Hockey executive.

The Wild’s Zach Parise and Ryan Suter and Edina’s Anders Lee of the New York Islanders also are playing.

Etc.

• Defenseman Nate Knoepke, of Farmington, will join the incoming freshman class at Omaha. He played for Sioux City of the USHL last season.

• Zach Walters hit one of the St. Paul Saints’ four homers and had four RBI as they beat the visiting Sioux Falls Canaries 8-4.