AUBURN, ALA. – Senior defender Emily Peterson scored her first collegiate goal in the 61st minute and Megan Gray got an insurance goal in the 81st as the Gophers beat Auburn 2-0 on Friday in a first-round match of the NCAA women's soccer tournament.
April Bockin, a senior forward, had assists on both goals. Her 26th and 27 career assists moved her up to third on that list in program history.
Peterson's goal came on a one-timer off a free kick; she beat Sarah LeBeau, who tied an SEC record with her 87th career start. Gray, a freshman midfielder, scored her third goal of the season.
"We finished on two set pieces, which we train set pieces like crazy," Gophers coach Stephanie Golan said, "and we were able to make the most out of those."
Sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Nielsen made five saves in her fourth consecutive shutout.
The Gophers (12-8-2), who won the Big Ten tournament as the seventh seed, also had five shots on goal; Auburn (12-6-2) had a 10-9 edge in overall shots.
Minnesota will play at UCLA (15-3-1), the second seed in the region, at 9:30 p.m. next Friday in the second round. The Bruins beat San Jose State 5-0 in their opening match.