INDIANAPOLIS – The Bemidji State University Soccer Team has earned an at-large bid into the 2018 NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Championships and will play Minot State University in the first round of the Central Regional. The announcement came early this evening as a part of a live NCAA Tournament selection show aired on NCAA.com. The Central Region will be split into two four-team brackets and played at Chet Anderson Stadium and Tom Thompson Soccer Field in Edmond, Okla. Nov. 9 and 11.
Bemidji State (17-0-2; 14-0-1 NSIC) garnered a No. 2 seed and will tackle seventh-seeded Minot State (13-5-3; 9-4-2 NSIC) in Friday’s regional first round match. The opening kick is set for 2 p.m.
Pulling down the No. 4 spot in the most recent United Soccer Coach national poll, Bemidji State is making its second appearance in NCAA Tournament. Unbeaten through 19 games, BSU is one of five unbeaten teams in the nation and earned its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular season title before bowing out of the NSIC Tournament in the quarterfinal round. The Beavers have spent eight consecutive weeks among the nation’s top 20 reaching as high as No. 3, Oct. 16.
Joining Bemidji State and Minot State in the Bemidji, Minn. Central Regional is No. 3 seed and defending national champion University of Central Missouri (16-4-1; 8-2-1 MIAA) and No. 6 Augustana University.
Central Missouri will play Augustana in the regional’s opening match at 11 a.m. Friday at Chet Anderson Stadium followed by Minot State and Bemidji State at 2 p.m. The winners will advance to regional’s second round match to be played at 1 p.m. Sunday. The winner advances to the third and quarterfinal rounds played on the campus of the highest remaining Midwest Regional seed, Nov. 16 and 18. The NCAA Division II semifinals and championship will be played Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh.
Minot State, which finished third in the NSIC standings with a record of 12-5-3 overall and 10-3-2 in league action, opens NCAA play nine of their last 10 contests, including a 3-1 victory over the University Mary to advance to the NSIC Tournament championship match. Minot State, fell to the region’s No. 4 seed Minnesota State University 1-0.
The Beavers are 6-5-0 all-time versus Minot State, which includes a 3-3-0 mark when playing MSU in Bemidji, Minn. Earlier this season, Oct. 5, BSU hosted the Beavers. Rachael Norton scored a goal and added two assists, while Anna Fobbe turned aside both shots she faced to propel BSU to a 3-0 victory.
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).