ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The Bemidji State soccer team was seven minutes away from advancing on to the semifinals of the NSIC tournament when a late goal by St. Cloud State sent the game into overtime. Neither side could claim victory in the two overtime periods so penalty kicks were needed to declare the winner. Even the shootout was close as it went into sudden victory after five rounds, with the Huskies winning 6-5 after seven rounds.
The effort was there and it was there all year; this game was no different,” said head coach Jim Stone. “The girls battled hard for 110 minutes and came up a little bit short in overtime. St Cloud State is a great team and there’s a reason why they finished third.”
With the loss the Bemidji State soccer team is eliminated from the NSIC tournament. The Beavers compiled an 11-6-2 record this season and is the fifth season with 10 or more wins for coach Stone.
“I’m proud of the girls and how hard they worked this year,” Stone said. “We were able to fight through some difficult injuries and to get into the tournament. We might not be able to see it now, but when we look back in a couple months we’ll realize how much we accomplished as a group.”
Samantha Ross (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) had another tremendous night in goal for Bemidji State making 8 saves in the game, including a fingertip save to flip the ball over the crossbar during the second half. She recorded one save in the shootout.
Kari McAllen (So., Bemidji, Minn.) scored her second career goal just minutes before the end of first half to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead going into the second half. The Beavers were awarded a free kick from 25 yards out. The kick was jumbled by the St. Cloud defense before finding its way to the foot of McAllen inside the 6-yard box. Kelly Pointon (So., Woodbury, Minn.) was credited with an assist n the goal.
The 2009 saw many positives for the Beavers, especially in the record setting department. Ashlee Ellefsen (Jr., Hugo, Minn.) had a standout 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). Kirsten Erickson (So., Coon Rapids, Minn.) also tied the school record for most assist in a single game (3).
The game was the last for seniors Maddie Pletta (Rochester, Minn.), Linsey Olesiak (Hermantown, Minn.) and Kim Sorteberg (Anoka, Minn.).
Pletta started in 42 consecutive games for the Beavers. After injuries plagued the team late in the season, Pletta made the transition to midfield to help fill in for the Beavers.
Olesiak played in every single game and started in all but one due to an injury. Her efforts on the backline didn’t go unnoticed by the NSIC coaches as she was honored as All-NSIC Honorable Mention.
Sorteberg played in 10 games this season providing a key support role in the defensive midfield. She had to bow out of the lineup early due to a leg injury she suffered on Oct. 10.