The Nebraska women’s soccer team took on Minnesota in its season opener on Sunday. The Huskers and Golden Gophers played a 0-0 draw following the completion of normal time and two overtime periods.
This was Nebraska’s first regular season game since Oct. 27, 2019, due to the 2020 fall soccer season being postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19.
The starting line up for the Huskers included sophomore Makinzie Short making her first start in goal, replacing former four-year starter Aubrei Corder. On the back line, the Huskers had junior Ashley Zugay, junior Olivia Brown and senior Grace Brown. In the midfield junior Kenzie Coons, sophomore Kathleen Aitchison, junior Dakota Chan and freshman Gwen Lane. Up front the Huskers started freshman Eleanor Dale, sophomore Marissa Popoola and freshman Reagan Raabe.
The earliest offensive chance for Nebraska came in the fifth minute when Chan got a shot off, but it was easily saved by the keeper. This was Nebraska’s only shot of the half, and the first of two shots Chan had in the game.
Short performed admirably in her first extended action in a Nebraska uniform. She was able to keep a clean sheet and had two crucial saves, one of which was an impressive fingertip stop in the 26th minute. The Golden Gophers led the Cornhuskers 6-1 in total shots in the first half.
The best offensive chance of the day for the Huskers came in the 48th minute, as Dale broke free of the defense and was able to get a shot on goal, which was saved.
After two scoreless halves, the game went into overtime. In the first added period, the Huskers seemed to have the upper hand, getting multiple shots on goal, but failed to capitalize.
In the second overtime, the Golden Gophers took control of possession, having both shots in the period and creating more scoring opportunities overall. This included two free kicks near the 18-yard box and three corners all in the final five minutes of the game.
None of these opportunities resulted in goals for Minnesota, which meant that the game ended in a scoreless tie.
Minnesota was dominant both in possession and offensively in the game. The Golden Gophers held 59% of the possession in the game and of their possession, 59% of it was on Nebraska’s side of the field. Nebraska held only 41% possession, with only 47% of it being held in the attacking half.
Minnesota also had 12 total shots compared to Nebraska’s six. Minnesota also led in shots on goal with four, while Nebraska only had two.
Fatigue was likely a contributor to the scoreless tie, as seven Huskers and six Gophers played over 100 minutes in the game. This was the first scoreless tie Nebraska has been a part of since it tied Oklahoma 0-0 on September 13, 2019.
Next up for the Huskers they’ll play the second game in a three-game road trip when they head to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans on Feb. 25.