The Gophers soccer team routed Maryland 6-0 on Wednesday night at Robbie Stadium to clinch a share of the Big Ten title.

They tied for first place with defending NCAA and conference champion Penn State, which beat Ohio State 2-0.

Northwestern, which also had a chance for a piece of the title, played Illinois in a match late Wednesday.

Julianna Gernes gave No. 11 Minnesota (13-3-3, 7-1-3 conference) a 1-0 lead over the Terrapins in the fifth minute. Josee Stiever, near the left corner of the penalty area, sent a cross to the other side.

Gernes kicked the ball out the air into the upper, left corner. It was the fourth goal of the season for the junior forward from Lake Elmo.

Sidney Squires made it 2-0 Gophers in the 40th minute on the first of her two goals.

After one diving Maryland player appeared to miss-hit the ball on the back line, Squires got to it first with the keeper running 20 yards out to try to grab it.

Instead, Squires kicked it past keeper Rachel Egyed. It was her fourth goal this season.

The Gophers made it a runaway in the second. Nikki Albrecht scored in the 48th minute, Kellie McGahn in the 66th, Squires in the 72nd and Maya Rajacich on a penalty kick in the 78th.

Tarah Hobbs and Mara Dougherty, who came in in the 79th minute, combined for the shutout.

This was the fourth conference title for the Gophers, who were picked to finish sixth in a preseason coaches’ poll. They won the others in 1995, 1997 and 2008.

Maryland (3-15-1, 1-10-0) came into this game with an eight-match losing streak and without a goal in the past five matches.

“This is one of the goals we set at the beginning of the season,” Gophers senior forward Simone Kolander said during a radio interview earlier in the day.

Kolander acknowledged Maryland was near the bottom of the league —14th or last place, but “we have to come out and treat them like they are one of the best teams in the conference. … It is in our hands.”

Next, the Gophers will play in the Big Ten tournament.

They likely will host a quarterfinal game on Sunday and, if they win, advance to the semifinals on Nov. 4 and possibly the championship on Nov. 6 at a site to be determined.


• The Gophers women’s basketball team will retire the jersey of Rachel Banham on Jan. 1, the day of its Big Ten home opener vs. Maryland. Banham was named the Big Ten Player of the Year after her senior season in 2015-16. She holds the Gophers’ career (3,093), season (914) and game (60) scoring records. Her career points also rank first in Big Ten history.

• Gophers sophomore Molly Eastman, of Victoria, was named the Big Ten women’s cross-country athlete of the week. She took first place in Jack’s Twilight Run in Falcon Heights, covering the 6K course in a career-best time of 21 minutes, 32.6 seconds.

• Minot State is second and Minnesota State Mankato fourth in the second NCAA Division II women’s soccer Central Regional rankings.