Gophers women’s soccer ended its season last week with a 1-0 loss to Loyola Marymount in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Gophers had a difficult end to the season, winning only one of their final seven games, but things are looking up for 2016. The Gophers lose only two major contributors to graduation: defender Haley Helverson and forward Taylor Stainbrook.

 

According to a report from local soccer website Northern Pitch, Ottawa Fury forward Tom Heinemann has signed a $150,000-per-year contract to join Tampa Bay for next season. It’s a sign of the growth of second-division soccer that Heinemann, who scored 12 goals in 2015, can stay in the second division but still earn more than many MLS players.

 

The 2016 CONCACAF Olympics women’s soccer qualifiers, set for mid-February in Texas, were announced this week. The U.S. will play Mexico, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico in Group A, and the Americans are favored to easily sail through. Winning the group will be important, as the second-place team will likely play Canada in the semifinals — and winning a semifinal is the final hurdle to clear to qualify for the Olympics.