Bemidji State soccer begins postseason play
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Bemidji State soccer begins postseason play
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University soccer team will face Minnesota State University, Mankato, for the second time in as many weeks as the Beavers and the Mavericks meet in the quarterfinal round of the NSIC /US Bank Tournament Wednesday at 1 p.m. The winner of the game set at The Pitch at Gage Towers in Mankato, Minn. will advance to the semifinal round hosted by the highest remaining team Friday with the championship set for 1 p.m. at the semifinal location.

The winner of the 2011 NSIC/US Bank Women’s Soccer Tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Central Regional Tournament set for Nov. 11-13.

The Beavers make their third consecutive appearance in the conference tournament.  

BSU wrapped the 2011 regular season with a 0-0 tie in the Cheryl Smyth Memorial Game Saturday and sent the BSU seniors out with a 1-0 win Sunday taking a record of 8-7-3 overall and 6-4-3 in conference play into postseason competition.      

In 2011, Minnesota State had a record-breaking regular season.  The team’s unbeaten streak of 14 games tied the 2007 squad for the longest streak in school history, Brittany Henry lead the NSIC in points, shots, goals scored, and game-winning goals, Brianne West lead the conference in assists, Molly McGough had the lowest goals against average (0.55), and MSU as a team topped the NSIC lists in points, shots, goals, assists, shutouts, corners per game, and lowest number of goals allowed.
 
Despite all their success, the Mavericks fell short in their quest to be NSIC conference champions.  MSU needed two wins in its final weekend of regular season competition to clinch the title and ended with a tie at BSU and suffered its first loss of 2011, 1-0, to University of Minnesota Duluth.  The goal by UMD was the first goal the Mavericks allowed in nine games.

Freshman keeper, Molly McGough, brings a 12-1-2 record into the post-season with eight shutouts.  

This season BSU has had its own collection of broken records.  The team faced a challenge in the first eight games of the season, playing in the program’s longest road swing, topping the 2003 team which played seven consecutive road matches.

Abby Kjonaas (Sr., Fargo, N.D.) finished third in the conference for save percentage with .860 and tied for third in saves (104).  She also has seven shutouts on the season matching a BSU single-season mark.  Kjonaas brings a 6-5-3 record and a 1.18 goals against average into postseason play.  

Kjonaas was named NSIC Defensive Player of the Week twice this season, and was the first Bemidji State player to be selected for the award since the league recognized goalkeeper Sam Ross for the laurel Sept. 14 of the 2010 season.

Freshman keeper Sonja Barr (Fr., Duluth, Minn.) helped contribute to the team’s 132 saves, the second highest total in the conference.  

Kirsten Erickson (Sr., Coon Rapids, Minn.) led the team offensively with nine goals and four assists.  She ranked second among conference players in shots (72) and game-winning goals (5).

Bri Scanlan (Sr., East Grand Forks) moved into first all-time for goals among active players netting 12 career goals, and surpassing assistant coach Megan Wallner in the BSU record books, to move into seventh all-time in goals.

Bemidji State and Minnesota State have met seven times with the Mavericks 5-1-1 against the Beavers. The BSU win came in 2010 last season when Bemidji State traveled to Minnesota State and Scanlan scored the 1-0 game-winner in the last game of the regular season.
 
Coach Jim Stone is in his 10th season as head coach of the Bemidji State soccer team.  He has posted an overall record of 96-78-20 and is riding a streak of six seasons with at least a .500 winning percentage.

Since taking over the program in the fall of 2002, head coach his teams have made the eight-team NSIC tournament in seven of 10 seasons.

Stone-coached teams at BSU are 3-6-2 all-time in postseason play with each of the ties decided by a shootout.

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

--bsu--
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