BEMIDJI Minn. -- Bemidji State University head soccer coach Jim Stone announced the commitments of six recruits for the 2013 season Wednesday. Bayley Ertl (North Branch, Minn.), Kayla Manske (Delano, Minn.), Grace Ogden (Eagle River, Alaska), Anna Sivanich (Maple Grove, Minn.), Sarah Stram (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) and Christine Szurek (Andover, Minn.) each signed National Letters of Intent to play soccer for the Beavers beginning next season.
“Because we didn’t have any real immediate needs, we were able to focus on bringing in really quality people,” said Stone. We were interested in players that were going to be good in the locker room and players that were going to help us create more of a competitive environment on our team. I think we accomplished that with this class of players.
“We aren’t done quite yet,” added Stone. “We plan to add one more player to this year’s class.”
The 2013 signing class is made up of two defenders, two forwards and two midfielders.
Bemidji State completed the 2012 campaign with an overall record of 10-7-2, while it finished sixth in the final NSIC standings owning a 8-5-2 mark in league play. BSU made the NSIC postseason tournament for the eighth time under Stone, falling in the first round to Upper Iowa University, 1-0. The Beavers had 15 one-goal matches in 2012 (9-6). Following the season, seven BSU soccer players were named to the Fall Academic All-NSIC team; Mary O’Brien (So., F, Maplewood, Minn.), Tiffany VanHaaften (Jr., M, Chaska, Minn.), Sam Lumberg (Jr., D, Woodbury, Minn.) and Megan Castro (Fr. M, Winnipeg, Manitoba) were tabbed to the All-NSIC team; O’Brien and Lumberg garnered 2012 NSCAA/Continental Tire Women’s NCAA Division II All-Central Region Team honors; and VanHaaften was named to the Capitol One/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) College Division Academic All-District First Team.
The Beavers plan to return 10 of 11 primary starters in 2013 after losing just one senior, Mallory Lowe (D, Lino Lakes, Minn.), to graduation. O’Brien leads all returning players with 24 points (10g-4a), which included two game-winning goals. Junior Jessie Voeller (F, White Bear Lake, Minn.) added four goals and five assists, while Castro, a rookie midfielder, rounded out the top three returning point-producing players posting eight points (2g-4a), which included a game-winner. In all, Bemidji State returns all 25 of its goals and 30 assists from a year ago.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
• Bayley Ertl (Forward, 5-4; North Branch, Minn. / North Branch High School / St. Croix Arsenal)
A three-time All-North Suburban Conference pick in soccer, Ertl earned All-State Honorable Mention accolades in her final two seasons on the pitch for the Vikings. She helped North Branch to a 7-3-2 record and a sixth-place finish in the North Suburban Conference standings in 2012. Additionally, the forward has competed as a part of the St. Croix Arsenal club team.
Stone’s comments on Ertl: “Bayley is a really athletic player with a great burst. She was a three-sport kid in high school, so she hasn’t had the consistent, year-round soccer training for many years. She scored a ton of goals at North Branch and was all-state, so there is an enormous upside with her. We are looking forward to helping her develop into a great Division II player.”
Personal: Bayley Christine Ertl... Born June 21, 1995... Daughter of Dave and Sara Ertl... Also participated in track and field, gymnastics, weightlifting, band and student council at NBHS… Is a regular on the Maple Grove A/B Honor Roll, is an academic letter winner and a member of the National Honor Society… Was a state finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman award… The 2009 North Branch High gymnastics team Ertl was a part of was selected for all-section academic honors, while the 2010-11 and 2011-12 teams earned an academic achievement award… Plans to major in nursing at BSU.
• Kayla Manske (Forward, 5-8; Delano, Minn. / Delano High School / Twin Cities Fire)
A four-year letter winner for the Delano High School soccer team, she captained the team to a 7-6-3 mark in 2012 and a fifth-place finish in the Wright County Conference… A captain for Delano High School, she was also the team’s leading scorer and was named the offensive MVP as a senior… She was also active on the club soccer scene… Played for the Minnesota Thunder Academy from 2008-2011 and is now a member of the Twin Cities Fire program. In 2012, Manske and the Fire were semifinalist for the Las Vegas Mayer’s Cup, the Kalamazoo Invitational, the All-American Cup and at the GSI Showcase, while they qualified for the Prairie Cup finals.
Stone’s comments on Manske: “Kayla has a good athletic build and is strong and fast. She is very positive person that really wants to be at Bemidji State. We think she has good potential.”
Personal: Kayla Marie Manske... Born May 15, 1995... Daughter of Douglas and Linnea Manske... Her grandfather Jack Willhite attended Bemidji State from 1953-55 and participated in football, wrestling and track and field… Is a regular member of the Delano High School Honor Roll… Is undecided on a major field of study.
• Grace Ogden (D/M, 5-5; Eagle River, Alaska / Chugiak High School / Chugiak Cyclones)
Helped lead Chugiak High School to a 2011 Cook Inlet Conference title prior to earning an All-CIC Honorable Mention selection to conclude her junior season… Also active with the Chugiak Cyclones club team from 2005-2013, Ogden was a member of a 2007 squad that won the Ina Kristiansen Memorial Cup and a State Cup championship in 2011 and 2012… In addition, she garnered the Ina Kristiansen Individual Award to wrap up the 2012 campaign.
Stone’s comments on Ogden: “Grace has attended our camps and showed interest in us early. She is a player with good touch. She can play in the back or midfield. She is a pretty intelligent player that is good on the ball and is a good passer. We are excited about having her join the program.”
Personal: Grace Shirley Ogden... Born March 23, 1995... Daryl and Kelly Ogden... In addition to soccer, she also participated in flag football and bowling as a prep… Was a member of the National Honor Society… A regular on the Chugiak High School Honor Roll… Has selected nursing as a major field of study.
• Anna Sivanich (D, 5-4; Maple Grove, Minn. / Maple Grove Senior High / Minnesota Thunder Academy)
A three-sport athlete at Maple Grove Senior High School, Sivanich also played club soccer most for the Minnesota Thunder Academy, most recently it’s U18 Premier team… Helped lead the Crimson to a 13-2-1 record and a North West Suburban Conference regular season championship with an 8-1-1 mark in league play before bowing out in the first round of the Section 5AA Tournament… She earned all-conference honorable mention accolades following the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Stone’s comments on Sivanich: “Anna is extremely athletic with the potential to play a physical game. She has good touch and tons of upside. She played in a successful high school program at Maple Grove. She attended our camp in the past and really fit that character/energetic personality mold that I think we will make us a better program.”
Personal: Anna Nicole Sivanich... Born Oct. 2, 1994... Daughter of William and Debbie Sivanich... Also a two-time varsity letter winner in basketball and earned one letter in track and field… Is a regular on the Maple Grove A/B Honor Roll… Will be an exercise science major at BSU.
• Sarah Stram (F/M, 5-4; Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove High School / Chicago Sockers FC)
A four-year starter for the Elk Grove High School Grenadiers, Stram is also a member of the Chicago Sockers FC club program… Competing in the Elite Club National League (ECNL), the Sockers FC posted an 8-8-4 record in 2012... Will be the co-captain of her high school team this spring.
Stone’s comments on Stram: “Sarah comes in with a background in very high level club soccer. She played for the Chicago Sockers of the ECNL so the transition to Division II isn’t going to be a shock to her as far as the speed of play. She is a really technical, very skilled goal scorer who can also defend. She is a player that could possibly see minutes early in her career.”
Personal: Sarah Elizabeth Stram... Born April 5, 1995... Daughter of Greg and Linda Stram… Her mother was a four-year letter winner for the Michigan State University track and field team and a former touring player for the Women’s Professional Racquetball Association… A regular on the Elk Grove High School Honor Roll… Is planning to study pre-veterinary medicine while at Bemidji State.
• Christine Szurek (Midfielder, 5-5; Andover, Minn. / Andover HS / North Metro)
Szurek comes to Bemidji State from Andover High School where she was a four-year starter for the Huskies… A three-sport athlete at AHS… On the pitch, Szurek was an All-Northwest Suburban Conference Honorable Mention as selection as a junior (2011) before garnering all-conference laurels in 2012… As a senior, she captained the Huskies to an overall record of 13-2-1,
second-place finish in the Northwest Suburban Conference standings and a trip to the Section 7AA championship game... Szurek has also been active in the North Metro Club program for the last six years and captained her team for five seasons.
Stone’s comments on Szurek: “She fits the character and locker room piece for us perfectly. She was the captain of her team and homecoming queen at her school and her high school coach said it was a privilege to coach her. We feel pretty fortunate. She is a player that may have been a bit under the radar and could come in and possibly get minutes right away. She is very good on the ball, smart, has great anticipation, good touch and is a good passer.”
Personal: Christine Marie Szurek... Born December 1, 1994... Daughter of Doug and Joann Szurek... Lettered four years in track and field, where she was a two-time all-conference pick, and one time in nordic skiing at Andover High School... In addition, Szurek held her own in the classroom... A member of the National Honor Society, she earned gold academic honors in 2010 and 2011 and silver academic honors in 2011 and 2012… Plans to study business or Spanish at BSU.
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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).