KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The United Soccer Coaches organization has tabbed Bemidji State University among the top 25 in the its annual preseason poll. After back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament, a 2018 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Regular Season Championship and an 18-1-2 overall record last fall, the Beavers hold down the No. 18 spot in the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll.
The ranking marks the first time the Beavers have opened a season among the top 25 in the country, but continues a string of 10 consecutive appearances in the poll dating back to the team’s 2018 debut in the No. 22 spot Sept. 4. BSU appeared in nine consecutive national polls in 2018 including sitting in the No. 21 spot at the conclusion of the season. The Beavers climbed as high as No. 3, a program all-time best, Oct. 16, 2018.
In all, the BSU soccer program has earned an appearance in the United Soccer Coaches national poll on 15 occasions.
The Beavers are one of two teams hailing from the NSIC among the top 25, with Minnesota State University, Mankato coming in at No. 25.
In addition to having preseason No. 25 Minnesota State on its 2019 schedule, BSU will also face top-ranked Grand Valley State University Sept. 13 and No. 7, University of Central Missouri, Sept. 15.
Jim Stone, the 2018 NSIC Coach of the Year, will return 19 players for the 2019 season, along with the addition of 11 newcomers. The roster includes four players who earned All-NSIC honors during the 2018 season, eight of BSU’s top 10 scorers and one goalkeeper.
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.