U soccer coach enjoying the ride

  • Updated: October 31, 2012 - 12:13 AM

Stefanie Golan has had a smooth transition despite not being hired until June.

hide

Taylor Uhl has a team-leading 19 goals for the Gophers women's soccer team.

Photo: U of M, Christopher Mitchell

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

She was in the middle of a two-day bus ride covering 11 hours. Her players were watching the Harry Potter movies -- one after the other. And still, there was no place Stefanie Golan would rather have been Tuesday afternoon.

Golan, the first-year head coach of the Gophers women's soccer team, was traveling with her team to the Big Ten tournament in Bloomington, Ind. After a somewhat uneven season, Minnesota landed as the No. 4 seed and will face Illinois -- a team it defeated 3-0 three weeks ago -- in Wednesday's 9:30 a.m. quarterfinals (available online on the Big Ten Digital Network).

"I'm definitely happy to be here," Golan said. "I like this team. They're showing a lot of resiliency through the course of the season -- the ability to grind."

Golan, 33, took over the program in late June after former coach Mikki Denney Wright resigned in order to spend more time with her family. Golan spent the previous three seasons as the women's head coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Suddenly, she was in a new environment here -- with not much time to adjust. She didn't get on the field with players for the first time until early August when practice began.

"It's tough when you come in during the summer and you spend the first day learning the players' names," Golan said. "But the players did a good job of keeping an open mind and not making decisions before we got started."

Predictably, a talented squad went through some early struggles. They were 5-3 in nonconference play and 2-3-1 through their first six Big Ten games. But the Gophers rallied with four victories in their final five regular-season conference games to earn the No. 4 seed this week. Taylor Uhl has been a major factor, scoring 19 of the team's 42 goals, while Golan also praised midfielder Katie Thyken's all-around game. They have helped put the Gophers in position to perhaps return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010.

"We definitely have to win the first game [in the Big Ten tournament]," Golan said in regards to the team's NCAA chances. "Beyond that, every win locks us in a little deeper. ... We're one of those bubble teams. We're either going to solidify that, or it's going to burst."

And either way, they are going to watch a lot of Harry Potter.

MICHAEL RAND

  • related content

  • Randball's world wide web highlights

    Tuesday October 30, 2012

    GOOD LUCK: ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted the Dodgers are "open to the idea of dealing Andre Ethier" and his $85...

  • Randball's quick hits

    Tuesday October 30, 2012

    KNOW THISMLB free agency will pick up this weekend when teams can start signing players away from other squads. Take...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Brooklyn 109 FINAL
Boston 107
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Orlando 89
Indiana 109 FINAL
Detroit 119
Milwaukee 107 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Houston 117 FINAL
Memphis 111
San Antonio 90 FINAL
New Orleans 97
Charlotte 75 FINAL
Oklahoma City 98
LA Lakers 98 FINAL
Dallas 102
Minnesota 102 FINAL
Denver 106
Philadelphia 93 FINAL
Portland 114
Phoenix 115 FINAL
Sacramento 106
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(15) Arizona State 1:10 PM
Duke
Miami-Florida 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close