Ellefsen adds to team lead, Bemidji State falls in overtime to Northern State
Sunday, September 23, 2007
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Jamie Ford (So., Edina, Minn.) scored her first goal of the season and Ashlee Ellefsen (Fr., Hugo, Minn.) added to her team lead in goals scored, but it wasn’t enough as Northern State University was able to notch an overtime goal to defeat the Bemidji State soccer team 3-2 Sunday afternoon at the BSU Soccer Field.

Bemidji State played like a team that wanted to show Saturday’s 3-0 loss to the University of Mary was a fluke. Northern State went ahead two times during regulation in Sunday’s game, and both times the Beavers stayed focused and were able to find seams in the defense and convert equalizers.

Maggie Fedor got things started with a goal in the 18th minute off an assist by Summer Swan. Ellefsen answered less than two minutes later when Kara Smyth (Fr., Cary, Ill.) found her wide open on a corner kick. Smyth was on the left side of the field for the corner, and Ellefsen was on the right side by herself. Smyth kicked the ball towards the middle of the formation where everyone was standing, but a gust of wind caused it to go over everybody’s heads and right to Ellefsen, who settled it in front of her and knocked it in the upper left side of the net past the NSU goalkeeper.

Neither team could find the net after that goal in a physical first half, and the teams entered the break tied at one.

Stephanie Connolly put the Wolves ahead with a goal in the 56th minute, but Ford answered with her first goal of the season in the 74th minute off a pass from Megan Wallner (Sr., Bemidji, Minn.).

The two teams kept up the intensity of a well-fought game, and neither was able to secure the game-winner in regulation, so overtime was needed to decide the winner.

Bemidji State slipped up defensively and allowed NSU three shots in the extra frame, which proved to be all the Wolves needed. Fedor appeared to be on the verge of winning the game when she had a breakaway in the 91st minute, but her shot went right into the hands of BSU goalkeeper Jessica Meath (Jr., Bethel, Minn.). Northern State (7-3-1) kept up the pressure and Connolly got a look at the 92:50 mark and scored the golden goal.

Meath had seven saves in the contest while giving up the three goals, and NSU goalkeeper Catherine Grace had nine saves and allowed the two BSU goals.

Meath now has 93 saves in her career with BSU, and she moved past Noelle Lancaster and Kelli Hadrava for sixth place on the all-time saves list. Angela Jo Ziebol sits in fifth place with 158 saves.

The loss for Bemidji State (4-5-1) is the second in as many days and the first overtime loss since Sept. 14, 2002, when the Beavers lost 2-1 to Jamestown College.

Ford was coming off a 2006 campaign where she was second on the team in goals with five and points with 13. She was unable to notch a point in the first nine games of the 2007 season, but finally broke through with her goal late in Sunday’s game. Her face showed relief as she finally got that elusive first goal, and she now looks poised to have a big second half of the season.

Wallner also notched her first point of the season with her assist, and Smyth is now alone in first place on the team in assists as she converted her third on the year.

Ellefsen’s goal increased her team lead in that category to five, and she is also leading in points with 11.

Even though the last two games against U-Mary Saturday and Northern State Sunday were both losses, Bemidji State will get another crack at the teams later in the season when the Beavers travel to the two schools on Oct. 20 and 21, respectively. The weekend losses also didn’t affect the NSIC standings, as games against conference opponents don’t count towards the overall conference records for any school until the weekend of games played Sept. 29 and 30.

That means when Bemidji State takes the field in its next game Sept. 29 against Wayne State, it will be the first game that counts as an actual conference matchup for both schools. The game time is set for 10:30 a.m. and will be played in Wayne, Neb.