Bemidji State closes 2011 regular season at home
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Bemidji State closes 2011 regular season at home
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University soccer team finishes the 2011 regular season at home with two Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) match ups. Undefeated in conference play, No. 14 Minnesota State University (13-1-2; NSIC 10-0-1), take the field at the BSU Soccer Complex at 1 p.m. Saturday followed by Southwest Minnesota State University (5-9-1; 4-6-1 NSIC) 1 p.m. Sunday.  

This is “Think Pink” weekend at Bemidji State. An effort to raise awareness of cancer and cancer research during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Beavers have several extra activities planed surrounding home athletic events.  The BSU soccer team will sport pink shirts Saturday as it hosts Minnesota State in the Cheryl Smyth Memorial Game in honor of former member of the BSU soccer team and current BSU student Kara Smyth’s mother, who lost her battle with cancer a year ago.  Special edition T-shirts will be for sale, donations will be taken and fans in attendance will have an opportunity to buy special raffle tickets with proceeds to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure campaign.

Minnesota State held onto it’s 12-game win streak with two tough games this past weekend by shutting-out  No. 25 Winona State University 1-0 and taking Upper Iowa University to a 0-0 overtime draw.  

As a team, MSU is a tough opponent on both sides of the ball.  The Mavericks currently lead the NSIC in goals and assists per game (2.94), shutouts (10), corners per game (6.5), and allow the lowest number of goals (0.50) per game.  

Offensively MSU has three juniors leading the way in 2011.  Brittany Henry leads the NSIC in points, shots, goals scored, and game-winning goals.  She has 13 goals and five assists on the season.  Nicole Dooher has nine goals and six assists and Brianne West has four goals and 12 assists.  West leads the conference in assists.   

Freshman Molly McGough has been strong in the net with a 12-1-1 record and seven shutouts.   

Southwest Minnesota State also played No. 25 Winona State well over the weekend, but came up short in the extra period for a 2-1 loss.  Senior Kelly Fitzgerald netted her team-leading sixth goal of 2011 in the game, placing her in a tie for ninth all-time at SMSU with 16 career goals.  Keeper Sonya Smith made 10 saves in the game and leads the NSIC in that category averaging 10.6 per game.  

Currently the Mustangs are on a three-game losing skid, the longest of the season, with their last win coming on Oct. 9 2-1 over Wayne State College.

BSU split its weekend series losing 4-1 to University of Minnesota Duluth (8-5-1; 8-3-0 NSIC) Friday afternoon and gaining the victory Sunday 4-2 over Minot State (6-7-0).

Mary O’Brien (Fr., F, Maplewood, Minn.) had the lone goal versus UMD and keeper Abby Kjonaas (Sr., Fargo, N.D.) took the loss.     

Sunday four different Beavers contributed to the scoring in the nonconference bout including Kathryn Bjorge (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.) who scored her first goal since the 2009 season.  Kirsten Erickson (Sr., Coon Rapids, Minn.) had a goal and an assist, Jessie Voeller (So., White Bear Lake, Minn.) and Bri Scanlon (Sr., East Grand Forks) rounded out the scoring and Maria Mcleod (So., White Bear Lake, Minn.) and Samantha Lumberg (So., Woodbury, Minn.) each had an assist.  

Sonja Barr (Fr., Duluth, Minn.) came in the second half for Kjonaas and improved her record to 2-2-0 while the Beavers climbed to 7-7-2 overall and remained 5-4-2 in conference play.  

Coach Jim Stone is in his 10th season as head coach of the Bemidji State soccer team.  He has posted an overall record of 95-78-19 and is riding a streak of six seasons with at least a .500 winning percentage.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.