BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University’s Jessie Voeller (Jr., F/M, White Bear Lake, Minn.) and Lance Rongstad (QB, 6-3, 219, Sr-3L, Eleva, Wis.) have been named Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week after recording outstanding athletic performances during the first week of the 2012-13 athletic season (Aug. 27-Sept. 2).
Voeller helped lead the Bemidji State soccer team to a 2-0 record to open the season leading the team with a goal and two assists. Voeller had a hand in all three of the Beavers' goals Sunday as the Beavers earned a 3-2 (OT), nonconference victory over Michigan Tech. She scored her first goal of the season to give BSU an 1-0 lead in the opening minutes of the contest and was a driving force behind BSU's two-goal comeback, assisting on the game-tying goal with less than nine minutes left in regulation and again on the game-winning golden goal 4:25 into overtime. Collecting four points in BSU’s second game of the weekend, Voeller came just an assist from matching her sophomore season scoring total.
This week’s Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week selection marks the first of Voeller’s BSU career.
Rongstad threw for 228 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in the Bemidji State football team’s 25-23 season-opening victory against Upper Iowa Friday. He also gained 58 yards on 18 rushing attempts to lead the Beaver ground attack. Through the air, Rongstad was an efficient 24-for-38 (63.2%) and hit seven different receivers – six of which had at least three receptions. Down 23-19 with less than 2:30 to play in regulation, Rongstad orchestrated a 13-play, 75-yard drive and eventually connected with junior fullback Brent Kondziolka (Orland Park, Ill.) on a five-yard touchdown pass with 40 ticks remaining in the fourth quarter to hand the Beavers a 25-23 lead. In the drive, Rongstad threw for all of the 75 yards and connected with four different receivers.
While this week’s Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week award marks the first of the season for Rongstad, it stands as the sixth time the Eleva, Wis. native has been honored by the organization. He was previously honored for excellence on the football field Sept. 14, Oct. 12 and Nov. 16 of the 2011 season, while the multi-sport athlete earned athlete of the week accolades for his performance on the basketball court Feb. 2, 2011 and Feb. 24, 2010.
The Beavers now turn their attention to the road as they head south to Mankato, Minn. for the first time since 2009 for a 6 p.m. tilt Sept. 8 against Minnesota State University, Mankato – who is receiving votes in the national poll.
The Beavers open their longest road swing of the season at 4 p.m. Friday when they travel to Fargo, N.D. for a nonconference contest versus NCAA Division I North Dakota State University. The team then opens Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play Sunday with a trip to Crookston, Minn. to face University of Minnesota, Crookston in a 1 p.m. affair.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).