Gophers open Big Ten tournament at number 6 Michigan State

no. 8 Seed Minnesota (8-7-3, 4-4-2 Big Ten) vs. no. 1 Seed, no. 6 Michigan State (1/1-3, 9-0-1 Big Ten) Date: Sunday, October 30 Time: 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM CTLocation: East Lansing, Mich.Site: DeMartin StadiumTwitter: @GopherSoccer, @MSU_Soccer BIG TOURNAMENT OUTLOOK Michigan State will be No. 1 after securing its first-ever regular season championship. Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska round out the top four teams and host at their respective campus locations.

The semifinals and final will take place in Columbus, Ohio at Lower.com Field on November 3-6. SERIES HISTORY Minnesota opens the postseason with a trip to the No. 6 and one-seed Michigan State. The Golden Gophers have faced the Spartans every year in program history except in the 2022 regular season. Sunday’s game marks the 32nd meeting between the Gophers and Spartans as Minnesota leads by a narrow margin of 14-13-4. Throughout the series, it was determined by close matchups, with 21 encounters decided by on target or less, including the last four. SCOUTING SPARTY The sixth-ranked Michigan State Spartans close a historic regular season as Big Ten Champions with a 14-1-3 record and an unblemished 9-0-1 conference record. Their only loss came against Arkansas when the Razorbacks held a number 11 ranking.

Michigan State received 11 Big Ten awards after the season, including a program record of four individual honors. Senior Lauren DeBeau was named Forward of the Year, graduate Ruby Diodati named Defender of the Year, senior Lauren Kozal was named Goalkeeper of the Year and head coach Jeff Hosler was named Coach of the Year at the conference. BIG TEN TOURNAMENT HISTORY Minnesota is 12-15-4 all-time in the history of the Big Ten Tournament, including three titles won in 2018, 2016 and 1995. The 2022 tournament marks its first appearance since the 2018 season, when the Maroon & Gold were the No. 7 seed, beating Rutgers, Nebraska and Penn State in penalty kicks to win the Big Ten Tournament title.

Against Michigan State in the postseason, Minnesota is 2-0 with a 1-0 win in 1994 and a 2-0 win in 1997. MEGAN PLASCHKO IN NUMBERS 4,073 Career Minutes – Megan Plaschko has 110 minutes left to finish the Minnesota top six to go in goalkeeper minutes played. 44 career starts – Third most starts on the team 19 career shutouts – The senior goalkeeper needs just one more shutout to surpass Teresa O’Hearn (1993-1996) to enter Minnesota’s top five in shutouts. No. 5 – Nationally played in goalkeeper minutes this season at 1,620. Two Awards – The senior goalkeeper won Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week on October 11 and was named on the Big Ten preseason list of players to watch. SOPHIA BOMAN BY NUMBERS 18 Shots on Target – Boman has seen the frame the most for Minnesota, finishing ninth in the conference. 15 Points – This season, a leader on offense Boman tops the stats for the Golden Gophers. Five goals – Includes a winning brace against Marquette and an equalizer against No. 8 Rutgers. Third – Straight Annual Receipt and All-Big Ten Prize at the end of the year. Boman was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team last season and to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team in 2020-21. Three Awards – Recognized as Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week, United Soccer Coaches Midfielder to Watch and Big Ten Preseason Player to Watch List on September 13. GABBIE CESARONE BY THE NUMBERS 1,580 minutes this season – Cesarone has played the most minutes this season, behind Plaschko who has played in 1,620 18 starts this season – The graduate transfer has become a seasoned vet on central defender and is one of four Gophers who has started all 18 games. 14 points – With six goals and two assists to her name, Cesarone is offensively second among her teammates. Six Goals – All six of Cesarone’s goals are off set pieces, while five have been scored with her head. Four game winners – The center back scored game-winning goals against Omaha, Indiana, Iowa and Mayland: good enough for fifth place in the Big Ten and 16th in the country. Two Weekly Awards – Cesarone earned Big Ten Defender of the Week on October 11 and was named TopDrawerSoccer’s Team of the Week on October 18. ROMINE TO THE RESCUE Junior transfer Sophia Romine secured the Golden Gophers Big Ten Soccer Tournament berth after finishing her second brace of the season against Purdue. The midfielder scored both, and almost identical, opportunities from corner kicks. Romine’s first brace of the season came against North Dakota in September. ALL-BIG TEN HONORS Three members of the University of Minnesota soccer team have won 2022 Big Ten women’s soccer awards, as announced Thursday by the conference bureau.

Graduate transfer, Gabbie Cesarone and junior, Sophia Boman were named to the All-Big Ten Second Team, while graduate captain, Alana Dressely was given the Sportsmanship Award. For Boman, this is her third consecutive All-Big Ten honor, while the other two Golden Gophers each receive their first accolades. GETTING HOT After finishing the regular season with a 3-0-2 record in its last five games, Minnesota looks set to continue its hot streak on Sunday. After the Illinois tie, the Gophers saw their longest undefeated run this season.

The Maroon & Gold have shot better (29-21) and scored better (9-5) in the last five games. RANK REPORT This week, Minnesota rose to No. 9 in the United Soccer Coaches North Regional Poll, after getting only votes last week.

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