Kjonaas and Leonhardt garner Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week honors
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Kjonaas and Leonhardt garner Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week honors
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University athletes Abby Kjonaas (Sr., GK, Fargo, N.D.) and Brian Leonhardt (Jr., TE, Blaine, Minn.) have been named Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week after recording outstanding athletic performances during the week of Oct. 24-30.

Kjonaas posted a pair of shutouts leading the Bemidji State soccer team to a record of 1-0-1 on the weekend, while recording a total of 23 saves.  The senior posted a career-high 19 saves in a 0-0, double overtime tie with No. 14 Minnesota State University, Mankato Saturday, before turning away all four of Southwest Minnesota State University’s shots in a 1-0 victory Sunday. Sunday’s shutout was her seventh of the season matching a BSU single-season mark set by Kari Torgerson in 2004.

For her effort, Kjonaas was also named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Defensive Player of the Week.

Kjonaas finished the regular season with a 6-5-3 record, a 1.18 goals against average and .860 save percentage.   She ranks third in the league in saves (104) and save percentage and saves per game (6.93).

This week’s Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week selection is the second of the season for Kjonaas and marks the fourth occasion a member of the BSU soccer team has been recognized during the 2011 campaign. In addition to Kjonaas’ Sept. 21 award, fellow goalkeeper Sonja Barr (Fr., Duluth, Minn.) earned the honor Sept. 28 and forward Kirsten Erickson (Sr., F, Coon Rapids, Minn.).

Leonhardt accounted for two of the Beavers’ three blocked field goals in the Bemidji State football team’s 14-0 loss at Northern State Oct. 29. The last time the Beavers blocked two or more field goal attempts was 2008 when the team blocked two field goal attempts against Minnesota State Sept. 6, 2008. Leonhardt also had 14 receiving yards to move over the 1,000 career receiving yards mark. He becomes just the second BSU tight end since 1971 to accomplish the feat. Bruce Ecklund (1980-83) posted 1,542 career yards.

Leonhardt is the Beavers’ leading receiver this season hauling in 28 passes for 404 yards and a touchdown.

The honor is the third of Leonhardt’s career (10/21/09 and 4/27/11) and marks the eighth time this season a member of the BSU football team has won the award.

The BSU football team (6-3; 5-3 NSIC, 1-3 NSIC North) closes its home slate Nov. 5 with an NSIC North battle versus No. 6 St. Cloud State University at 1 p.m. at Chet Anderson Stadium.

Earning a berth into the NSIC/US Bank Women’s Soccer Tournament with an overall record of 8-7-3 and a 6-4-3 mark in conference play, the seventh-seeded Beavers’ quarterfinal match up with the No. 2 seed Minnesota State is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday at The Pitch at Gage Towers in Mankato, Minn.