ADA, Okla. -- Bemidji State University Soccer senior Miranda Famestad and juniors Rachael Norton and Dani Nelson have been selected to the 2017 Division II Conference Commissioners Association Women’s Soccer All-Central Region Team for their roles in leading the BSU Soccer program to a 15-1-4 overall record and its first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.
The region’s sports information directors voted both Famestad, a defender, and Norton, a forward, to the first team, where each will be placed on the D2CCA All-America ballots, while Nelson earned a second-team nod. The recognition marked the first time any of the three have been recognized regionally.
Norton, a native of Mounds View, Minn., led the team and all Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference players in points (38), points per game (2.11), goals (14), goals per game (.778), assists (10), assists per game (.556) and game-winning goals (6) in 2017. She finished the regular season among the top 10 in all of Division II in assists per game, while she was in the top 20 in both points and goals. In NSIC play, she posted a league-high 33 points, 12 goals and nine assists, while she was third with five game-winning goals. She matched Katie Meinhardt for the program’s single-season record for points, Sarah Stram’s 2015 single-season record for game-winning goals and is second on the Beavers’ single-season assist list. For her efforts she was also named as the NSIC’s Offensive Player of the Year and earned First-Team All-NSIC honors.
After three seasons, she is already tied for fourth on BSU’s all-time goals scored list (29), is fifth on BSU’s all-time assists list (18), fourth in program history in career game-winning goals (9) and her 76 points places her third on BSU’s all-time scoring list.
Famestad, a First-Team All-NSIC selection and the reigning NSIC Defensive Player of the Year, anchored a BSU defensive unit that surrendered just 10 goals overall and seven goals in league play to rank second in the NSIC. She led a unit that posted 12 shutouts in 20 matches, which included a 377:18 shutout streak to open the season. In all, the BSU defense allowed just 213 shots in 20 matches (10.65 spg) and 98 (4.9 sogpg) shots on goal. The BSU back line protected a goalkeeping duo that ranked second in the league in goals allowed (0.50) and goals allowed average (0.48). Offensively the senior was sixth on the team in scoring with three goals and a career-high two assists for eight points, logging 1,484 minutes, while starting 19 of 20 BSU contests in 2017 to sit fourth on the team.
In 76 appearances as a Beaver, the Sioux Falls, S.D., native logged 14 goals and three assists for 33 points.
A Second-Team All-NSIC selection, Nelson finished 2017 third on the team in scoring with 16 points. Her six goals and four assists both stood as career highs. Of her 34 shots, 21 landed on goal to place her third on the team in both categories. As a midfielder, Nelson also served as the quarterback of a BSU offense that averaged 2.25 goals per game and allowed just 0.50 to rank second in the NSIC in both categories, while BSU was third in the NSIC averaging over eight shots on goal per game and managed 314 shots (15.70 spg).
In 59 appearances for BSU, the Woodbury, Minn., native has nine goals, eight assists and 26 points.
The BSU trio helped make up a total of eight selections from the NSIC.
At 15-1-4 overall, Bemidji State completed the 2017 regular season as one of four teams in the country with an unbeaten record of 14-0-3 and made a run of five straight weeks ranked in the top 20 of the United Soccer Coaches national poll, including a No. 14 nod the final week of the regular season. BSU finished second in the NSIC with a 12-0-3 mark and made its ninth straight appearance in the NSIC Tournament. After quarterfinal exit, BSU earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, where it dropped a scoreless draw, 5-4 in a shoot out, to Augustana University in the first round.
For more information on the Bemidji State soccer program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
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).