BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Bemidji State University soccer head coach Jim Stone announced today the signing of seven players to National Letters of Intent. Sonja Barr (Duluth, Minn.), Katie Espe (Grand Forks, N.D.), Molly Flahavan (Maidson, Wis.), Annie Glissendorf (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Jillian Hall (Oswego, Ill.), Ashley Hensley (San Antonio, Texas), Rachel Scheller (Maple Grove, Minn.), and Mari Wallestad (Ramsey, Minn.) will be joining the BSU squad for the 2011 season.
Bemidji State finished the 2010 season with a 14-4-1 (9-3-1 NSIC) record, picking up the most wins in a single season, and finishing third in the conference. In the previous four years before Jim Stone took charge of the soccer program at BSU, the team had only recorded a total of 13 wins. Since the start of the 2002 season Stone has recorded 87 wins, including five winning seasons.
The Beavers will return five starters from the 2010 season. Bri Scanlan (Sr., Mid., East Grand Forks, N.D.) scored five goals last year including three game winners. Even though BSU graduated three starting forwards, sophomore Jessie Voeller (White Bear Lake, Minn.) and senior Bethany Fluto (Bemidji, Minn.) will return up top. Voeller had two goals and two assists in her freshman campaign, while Fluto scored two goals, both game winners, and notched one assist. In all, Bemidji State returns 13 goals and 14 assists from last years squad.
“I think this class represents how we’ve spread our wings a bit and cast our net a little wider,” Stone said. “We have five states represented in this class. Minnesota is always going to be a priority, but we feel blessed that our program has earned a quality reputation within our entire region. I think we have a special culture in our program; it’s a caring, nurturing culture, but also very competitive. I think this entire class represents those characteristics and I think that’s why they were attracted to this program On the field we’ve added a lot of defensive quality. We’ve added some versatility in a few players who could play multiple positions and we brought in a skilled attacking player. All in all I think this class meets our needs of keeping us at a highly competitive level and hopefully also allowing us to continue growing as a program.”
Sonja Barr • Goalkeeper • 5-6 • Duluth, Minn. • Duluth East High School
Barr lettered three years at Duluth East High School helping her team win the 2010 state tournament and section 7AA championships. Recorded four shutouts and a 1.30 goals against average her senior year.
“Sonja is an incredible athlete. She is strong, quick and most importantly for the goalkeeper position she is fearless. She comes from a very strong high school program at Duluth East which made it to the state tournament this year. We really believe she can not only carry on our tradition of strong goal keeping but perhaps even push the bar higher.”
Personal: Sonja Carlette Barr...Born March 19, 1993...Daughter of Calvin and Anita Barr...Father played football for Minnesota Duluth and baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals orgzniaztion...Mother played tennis at Minnesota Duluth...Lettered three years in both softball and weight lifting at Duluth East.
Katie Espe • Midfield/Defender • 5-7 • Grand Forks, N.D. • Red River High School
Espe comes to BSU from Red River High School where she was team captain of the Roughriders. A longtime member of the Greater Grand Forks Soccer Club, Espe was named Rookie of the Year when she was a sophomore. Over the summer of 2010 she helped lead her club team to four tournament championships.
“We discovered Katie at one of our clinics. All the coaches in attendance were impressed with her as were we. Katie is a strong player who also has good touch. That combination of skills allows her to fit into many different places on the field. She is capable of helping out in the back, middle or even possibly up top.”
Personal: Katie Taylor Espe...Born May 21, 1993...Daughter of Perry Espe and Colleen Wallin...Also lettered in cross country at Red River High School...Father played one year of hockey at Bethel University...Proposed exercise science major.
Molly Flahavan • Defender • 5-8 • Madison, Wisc. • James Madison Memorial High School
Flahavan played on the back line for the Sparatans at James Madison Memorial High School for the past three years. In the 2009-10 season Flahavan scored two goals while helping her team to a 20-2-3 record.
“Molly comes from a great club in the 56ers and has been a part of a very successful high school team at James Madison. She is a smart player who has the skills to possess the ball out of the back like we believe in. Molly can also strike the ball extremely well as we’ve seen her score some long distance goals. She is versatile enough to play in the middle or on the flank for us in the back.”
Personal: Molly Marion Flahavan...Born Sept. 28, 1993...Daughter of Paul of Malain Flahavan...Proposed elementary educations major.
Annie Glissendorf • Forward/Midfield • 5-6 • Sioux Falls, S.D. • Roosevelt High School
Glissendorf was a four-year starter at Roosevelt High School where she helped lead her team to the state tournament each season. In those four years she earned the team’s awards for Most Valuable Player, Most Goals, and Best Midfielder. Glissendorf played Division One club soccer in Sioux Falls and her team won the South Dakota Stat Cup in 2010. She also competed with the South Dakota Olympic Development Program Team in 2009.
“Annie was the first to commit, the first commitment is usually the catalyst that gets the whole class moving forward. Annie is similar on the soccer field, she has the potential to connect players, get others involved and create for us. She is a creative player with great touch which allows her to play how we like to.”
Personal: Annie Lynn Glissendorf...Born January 2, 1993...Daughter of Mark and Kristi Glissendorf...Lettered in basketball, was on the honor roll and received an academic letter while at Roosevelt High School...Proposed psychology or graphic design major.
Jillian Hall • Midfield • 5-5 • Oswego, Minn. • Oswego East High School
Hall was a four-year starter at Oswego High School while also playing club soccer, most recently for the Kickers U-18 team. She was captain of her team at Oswego East her junior year and senior years. Last Fall she helped lead the Kickers U-18 squad to a first palce finish in its conference.
“Hall is the perfect capstone to our class, she gives us that additional offensive threat and energy player we desired,” Stone commented. “She is extremely strong, very good on the ball, she has good speed, is a good finisher and she can also make plays for her teammates. We’re excited to bring her in to our soccer family.”
Personal: Jillian Marie Hall...Born Dec. 1, 1992...Daughter of Mark and Delovann Hall...Mother was a gymnast at Illinois State University...Proposed business or psychology major.
Ashley Hensley • Defender • 5-2 • San Antonio, Texas • Winston Churchill High School
Hensley played three years of varsity soccer at Winston Churchill High School. In those three years she helped her team reach the bi-district playoffs in 2009 and district playoffs in 2010. Playing with the Classics Elite Soccer Academy in 2009 her team claimed a district championship and placed fourth in the state.
“Ashley is our 2nd player to come to us from the state of Texas. Ashley is a quick player with good touch. She has the skill set and the work ethic to play the outside back position like we do here. She has no problem getting up and down the flank and will make us stronger both offensively and defensively.”
Personal: Ashley Taylor Hensley...Born Nov. 2, 1993...Daughter of Scott and Toye Hensley...Lettered one year in track and field...Proposed education major.
Rachel Scheller • Midfield/Defender • 5-4 • Maple Grove, Minn. • Maple Grove Senior High School
Scheller lettered three years at Maple Grove Senior High School. In 2009 as a junior Scheller earned all conference honorable mention honors. Her senior year she was voted team captain and as the player who shows the most dedication, enthusiasm, and leadership by her teammates. She also received the senior excellence award from the NSCAA. While playing for the Wayzata Soccer Club, she helped lead the team to a U-16 state championship.
“Rachel is a Bemidji State type of player in the sense that she’s willing to get her jersey dirty for the team. Rachel is a strong tackler who also possesses good skill. Rachel is also versatile, she could play in the middle for us or tuck into the back too. She can play long to spread the opponent out and also play short to keep possession.”
Personal: Rachel Scheller...Born Nov. 5, 1992...Daughter of Mike and Cindy Scheller...Sister, Chelsey, played soccer for St. Cloud State from 2006-09...Brothers, Ryan and David, play soccer for Augsburg College...Proposed major is undecided.
Mari Wallestad • Defender • 5-8 • Ramsey, Minn. • Elk River High School
Wallestad comes to Bemidji State from Elk River High School where she was co-captain the past two seasons and made all-conference twice. She was one of 24 players picked for the Class AA coaches association all-state team this year. Wallestad topped off her career earning a spot on the all-state tournament team in 2010, an honor given to the top 50 players in the state.
“Mari is our second Minnesota kid to play in the state tournament this year. She showed well as she was a member of the all tournament team and was also a 1st team all state selection. Mari is a smart player with good size. She has good touch and has the potential to organize a back-line very nicely. She adds talent, strength and know how to our back-line.”
Personal: Mari Jean Wallestad...Born Dec. 29, 1992...Daughter of Roland and Connie Wallestad...Had an academic letter at Elk River High School...Proposed exercise science major.
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