WOMEN’S HOCKEY
MINNEAPOLIS – The line of Sarah Potomak, Kelly Pannek, and Amy Potomak combined for four goals and nine points as the No. 2 University of Minnesota women’s hockey team recorded a 5-2 win over Princeton in Saturday’s NCAA quarterfinal game at Ridder Arena. With the win, the Golden Gophers secured the program’s 14th NCAA Frozen Four berth.

Minnesota (31-5-1) scored three third-period goals, including a pair of empty-net goals, in the game’s final 10 minutes to break a 2-2 tie. Pannek scored the eventual game-winner with 9:13 remaining before S. Potomak and Nicole Schammel sealed the win with empty-net goals in the game’s final 1:06.

“I’m so happy that we’re headed to the Frozen Four,” head coach Brad Frost said. “This is a team that has earned it. They deserve it, but you always get the opportunity to go just because you deserve to go. Again, I think our depth was able to wear Princeton down a little bit tonight – it’s a really, really special group. We’re excited to get out there.”

The Gophers were led by S. Potomak’s four-point effort (2g-2a), and her linemates Pannek (1g-2a) and A. Potomak (1g-1a) also had multi-point games. Taylor Williamson picked up an assist on Schammel’s empty-net goal for her 50th career point, and Sydney Scobee made 24 saves for the Maroon & Gold as the Gophers outshot Princeton, 39-26.

Sarah Fillier scored both goals for Princeton (20-8-5), and Tiger goaltender Stephanie Neatby made 34 saves.

“These quarterfinal games are always so tough,” Frost said. “You saw that again tonight against a great opponent. They wouldn’t go away. Their top line, Fillier in particular, was unbelievable. It took a complete team effort to keep her off the scoreboard in the third. I’m really proud of our group.”

The Tigers got on the board first when Fillier struck at the 5:26 mark of period one, but Minnesota responded just 1:46 later when S. Potomak scored her ninth of the season to even the score at 1-1.

The Gophers then took the lead with a goal from A. Potomak with 1:55 remaining in period one when she tapped in the rebound off a shot by Pannek in the slot, and Minnesota took a one-goal lead into the first intermission.

However, Fillier scored her second of the game just 2:43 into the second period to even the score and the teams remained locked at 2-2 until Pannek solved Neatby midway through the third period with her 16th goal of the season.

Princeton pulled Neatby for the extra attacker with 1:50 remaining, but S. Potomak and Schammel iced the win with empty-net tallies.

Only one penalty was called in the game as Minnesota was perfect on the penalty kill at one-for-one, holding off the Tigers on the game’s lone power play early in the third period.

In the other NCAA quarterfinal games, top-seeded Wisconsin defeated Syracuse by a score of 4-0. The other two quarterfinals required overtime as Cornell upset No. 3 seed Northeastern, 3-2 in overtime, and No. 4 seed Clarkson prevailed over Boston College, 2-1 in overtime.

The Frozen Four semifinal match-ups pit Wisconsin against Clarkson and Minnesota against Cornell at the People’s United Center in Hamden, Ct., next Friday, March 22 with the semifinal winners set to face off in the national championship game on Sunday, March 24.


SOFTBALL
TAMPA, FLA.- The No. 21/21 University of Minnesota Gophers took down USF 3-0 on the final day of the USF Tournament to remain undefeated on Sundays in the 2019 season. The Gophers went 4-1 on the weekend and improve to 19-8 overall.

“It’s always nice to end the weekend with a win,” head coach Jamie Trachsel said. “Now we get a little break. We will enjoy ourselves tomorrow being here on spring break and then start practicing and preparing for the games in front of us.”

The Maroon and Gold will face No. 7/7 Florida on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT before opening Big Ten play at Maryland next weekend. The game will be available on the SEC Network.

The first two innings flew by with neither team reaching base. Minnesota snapped the cold streak when Anne Miller sent a single up the middle to lead off the third. Macy Gill came in as a pinch runner and moved to second after Ali Lindner reached on an error.

MaKenna Partain moved both runners on a groundout and Maddie Houliihan knocked a double off the wall in right to score them.

USF recorded their first two hits of the game in the fourth, but were unable to do anything with them. The Gophers defense kept their strong weekend going with 15 groundouts fielded cleanly in the win. Allie Arneson and Katelyn Kemmetmueller each recorded six assists. The field did not commit a single error in any of the five games this weekend.

Natalie DenHartog made it a 3-0 game with a solo home run to right field in the sixth. The freshman out of Hopkins, Minn. already has nine long balls on the season.

Amber Fiser pitched her third straight shutout and is now 11-5 on the season with a 1.21 ERA. In six innings of work, she struck out one while only allowing three hits. The junior ace has not allowed a single run in her last 25 innings of work and has only allowed one run in four straight wins.

Sydney Smith picked up her first save of the season when she retired USF in order in the bottom of the seventh.


BASEBALL
The University of Minnesota (5-12) baseball team beat Long Beach State 19-6 on Sunday to win the series. The Golden Gophers belted out 21 hits, including 11 doubles and Jordan Kozicky’s second home run of the weekend. The Dirtbags (3-15) tallied 14 hits but Minnesota’s pitching and defense stranded 11 of those runners on base, and the Gophers took advantage of six Long Beach State errors.

Kozicky continued his productive weekend by going 3-for-5 at the plate with two runs and six RBIs, including a three-run homer. Max Meyer was 3-for-4 with two runs, a double, an RBI, and a walk. Eli Wilson batted 3-for-5 with two doubles, a run and an RBI. Andrew Wilhite also had two doubles, both in the ninth inning.

Minnesota jumped ahead in the second inning and never trailed. Starter Joshua Culliver (1-1) earned his first win of the season with 5 2/3 innings pitched. He allowed nine hits but limited the Dirtbags to two runs. Danny Kapala, Brett Schulze and Ryan Duffy combined to finish the game.

Easton Bertrand and Kozicky both doubled in the second inning with a Meyer single between them. Kozicky’s double off the left field wall scored Bertrand. Zack Raabe singled in both Meyer and Kozicky and the Gophers led 3-0.

Bertrand scored again in the third after reaching on a walk. Kozicky’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly made it 4-0. The Dirtbags got one run back in the bottom of the inning, but the Gophers made it 8-1 with additional runs in the fifth and sixth before Long Beach scored again.

The Dirtbags scored in each of the last four innings, but the Gophers scored in seven innings overall. Minnesota tallied two runs in the seventh, one in the eighth, and eight in the ninth to run away with the game. The Gophers batted 12 in the ninth and notched eight hits, including four doubles and Kozicky’s home run.

Gabe Knowles and Chase Stanke each picked up their first collegiate hits with RBI singles in the ninth. Jacob Hitz doubled for his first hit of the season, and Eduardo Estrada, Jr. tallied his first double of the year.

Every Gopher who came up to the plate scored at least one run. Mezzenga, Bertrand, Meyer, and Kozicky each had two. In addition to Kozicky’s six RBIs, Wilhite and Raabe each drove in two runs.

The breakdown of Minnesota’s 11 doubles was two each for Wilson and Wilhite and one each for Cole McDevitt, Bertrand, Meyer, Kozicky, Jack Wassel, Hitz and Estrada.

The Gophers will remain in California to face Pepperdine on Tuesday at 5 p.m. CDT. Minnesota will then open Big Ten play at Penn State over the weekend.

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