If you picked up a copy of the Star Tribune (digitally or the old-fashioned way) Sunday, you were likely overwhelmed (in a good way) by all the positive sports outcomes.
Saturday presented a logjam of important local events played in the Twin Cities. Chief among them: The Gophers softball team playing for a spot in the College World Series; the Lynx opening their season; the Twins trying to extend their early-season dominance; and Minnesota United aiming to continue a much-improved third season in Major League Soccer.
The Gophers baseball team, meanwhile, was fighting to stay alive in the Big Ten tournament in Omaha.
Every single team won, providing a chance for widespread joy — and a little analysis of each team’s accomplishment in the big picture.
Well, this is an easy one. Sweeping Louisiana State in the best-of-three super regional gave the Gophers their first-ever berth in the College World Series.
Symbolically, Minnesota’s path to get there — going 4-0 against Georgia and LSU, a pair of teams from the powerful SEC — is also significant. The Gophers will be underdogs against UCLA once they get to Oklahoma later this week. But there’s no reason they can’t win it all.
Last season felt like the end of an era for the Lynx, who made a quick playoff exit after a seven-year run of excellence. That sentiment continued this offseason with Lindsay Whalen retired, Maya Moore taking a year off and Rebekkah Brunson’s status up in the air — not to mention the influx of new talent Minnesota added.
If this is a new era … so far, so good. Rookie Napheesa Collier had 27 points in her WNBA debut, leading the Lynx to an 89-71 victory over Chicago. A former UConn star doing big things at Target Center? Results-wise, that sure felt familiar even if the face was different.
We’re running out of positive adjectives to describe this team, and it’s not even June 1 yet. That date marker is a reminder that there is still a lot of season left, but know this:
The Twins not only possess the best record in the majors, but also they are threatening to run away with the AL Central race. Even if they merely played .500 the rest of the season — a low bar considering their start — they would finish with 91 victories.
A team whose defensive woes formed its unfortunate identity for its first two seasons in Major League Soccer and the start of its third has suddenly turned the corner in that area.
The Loons have recorded shutouts in four of their past league six matches — with three of those clean sheets coming in 1-0 victories, including Saturday over Houston at Allianz Field. Minnesota is getting good results against some of the best teams in MLS. This could be a playoff team.
John Anderson’s team stretched out its season another day with a victory over Ohio State on Saturday in Omaha, but a loss to the Buckeyes on Sunday ended it one game short of the Big Ten tournament championship game.
Still, it was a great run through the elimination bracket to get that far — and it was a great weekend overall for local teams (and fans).