BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Bemidji State women’s soccer team held their annual banquet Saturday Dec. 12 as a venue to honor and thank current and former players for their contributions to the soccer program. As part of the banquet, individual awards were handed out to individual players in recognition of their efforts with the team this season.
Alysha Domiano (Jr., Dayton, Minn. was awarded Beaver of the Year. The award is given to a special player that signifies what Bemidji State Soccer represents in every aspect of the program, whether it’s in the classroom, in the community, on the playing field or among peers. Domiano was also named to the 2009 NSCAA Women’s NCAA Division II All-Central Region Third Team and named to the 2009 Daktronics All-Central Region Women’s Soccer Second Team. Domiano was a crucial part of the Beaver backline all year. Her efforts in the defensive third helped the Beavers limit their opponents to just 17 goals, which established a school record. The defense helped record seven shutouts including a scoreless streak that spanned from Sept. 20-27.
Ashlee Ellefsen (Jr., Hugo, Minn.) was named the Offensive MVP. Ellefsen had a standout junior year. She broke the school records for most career points (80), most career goals (32), and game-winning goals (11). She also tied the school record for most assists in a season (7). Ellefsen was named All-NSIC First Team and was awarded NSIC Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 27 - Nov. 1. On the season, Ellefsen scored 13 goals and notched seven assists for a total of 33 points. It was her best single-season performance at BSU after scoring 16 points (7G, 2A) her freshman year and 31 points (12G, 7A) in her sophomore season.
Domiano and Kathryn Bjorge (So., Prior Lakes, Minn.) were named Defensive MVPs. Bjorge had a solid year supporting the left-flank of the Beaver backline. Both Bjorge and Domiano were key assets in setting the new low for goals against (17). Bjorge also scored one goal and notched one assist in her sophomore campaign.
Rachel Gustafson (So., Ham Lake, Minn.) was named Super-Sub, a title awarded to a player whom enters a game and makes an immediate impact and changes the complexion of the game for the positive. Gustafson tallied six points (2G, 2A) in her sophomore campaign. Off the bench, she provided a tremendous boost to the Beaver midfield with her excellent vision on the field and aggressive style of play.
Brianna Duff (So., Ramsey, Minn.) received the Most Improved award for positively changing her game enormously from one season to the next. After a relative quiet freshman season, Duff exploded onto the scene notching 11 points (4G, 3A) in the first two games of the season. Her efforts on offense placed her second on the team with scoring for the season with 19 points (7G, 5A). Duff was later was named to the ESPN the Magazine / College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) College Division All-District Third Team for her efforts on the field and in the classroom.
Analey Skog (So., St. Francis, Minn.) received the Best Attitude award. The award represents the player that has the biggest impact on the team through positive attitudes and acts of kindness. Skog only played in the first two games this season before having to sit-out due to injury. In those two games she netted three goals and recorded two assists. Armed with her positive attitude and hard work ethic, Skog looks to sit-out next season to rehabilitate from her injuries in hopes of having a standout senior year.
Maddie Pletta (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) won the Coaches’ Award. The award represents a player that has played at an extremely high-level, but may not have received the recognition they deserve over their time here. Also a team captain for the 2009 season, Pletta helped anchor the Beaver backline providing valuable experience and insight. Late in the season when injuries riddled the BSU lineup, Pletta stepped-up filling a gap in the defensive midfield. Her efforts in the midfield helped contribute to the success the Beaver soccer team had late in the season.
Kim Sorteberg (Sr., Anoka, Minn.) was named Hardest Worker. Sorteberg helped provide an aggressive presence in the defensive midfield for the Beavers. She tallied three assists in 10 games before suffering a season-ending leg injury.
TIffany VanHaaften (Fr., Chaska, Minn.) was named Rookie of the Year. In her freshman year she tallied three goals, including two game winners, before suffering a season-ending injury against St. Cloud State on Oct. 10. She was named NSIC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 29.
The award for Goal of the Year was given to Kara Smyth (Jr., Cary, Ill.) for her goal against Winona State University on Oct. 4. The goal gave Bemidji State its first ever win over the warriors.
The Assist of the Year was given to Kirsten Erickson (So., Coon Rapids, Minn.) for assist on Ellefsen’s goal against Wayne State College on Nov. 1. The goal came in the final minute and was the only goal of the game. It helped Bemidji State gain sixth place in the NSIC.
The Save of the Year was given to Samantha Ross (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) for her save against St. Cloud State in the opening round of the NSIC tournament on Nov. 4. Ross had a great tip save that put the ball over the crossbar and helped keep the game tied at 1-1 and to send it into overtime.
Also named at the banquet were the captains for the upcoming 2010 season which are: Jamie Ford (Sr., Edina, Minn.), Ashlee Ellefson and Alysha Domiano.
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