MOORHEAD, Minn. - Fighting against the wind and rain, the Bemidji State University soccer team (7-2-0, 3-1-0 NSIC) battled Minnesota State, Moorhead (4-4-1, 1-3-0 NSIC) to a 5-3 victory. Ashlee Ellefsen(Jr., Hugo, Minn.) scored a hat trick in the second half of the game to secure the win for the Beavers. Out of the eight goals scored in the game, only one came in the first half.
“The weather was a bit of a factor today,” said head coach Jim Stone. “It made it tough for the keepers, and it was hard for defenders to judge bounces with it being so slippery. I thought Moorhead played well and they pushed us today. It seems like our games against Moorhead always tend to be really close with lots of scoring.”
In the 41st minute Tiffany VanHaaften (Fr., Chaska, Minn.) drew a penalty on top of the 18-yard box.Yesenia Garcia (Jr., Great Bend, Kan.) lined up for the set piece and passed it short to Kelly Pointon(So., Woodbury, Minn.). Pointon finished the play putting the ball in the top right corner of the net scoring the second goal of her career.
Just four minutes into the second half the Dragons equalized as MSUM defender Sarah Tokar scored. Tokar kicked a high cross that caught a strong gust of wind carrying it past BSU keeper Samantha Ross(Jr., Stillwater, Minn.).
The Beavers would answer back taking the lead in the 63rd minute. Maddie Pletta (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) crossed the ball into the 18-yard box and found VanHaaften who headed the ball in, scoring her second goal as a Beaver. Both of VanHaaften’s goals have come from this weekend, her first one being scored on Friday against Minnesota, Crookston.
“VanHaaften was one of our best players this weekend,” Stone said. “Her goal at Crookston was giant for us and her goal today was just as high quality. I think part of her success is that she’s starting to get comfortable with her role as a holding mid.”
However, just five minutes later the Dragons would strike back netting a goal off of a corner kick.
With the game tied at two a piece, Ellefsen scored her fifth and sixth goals of the year in the 72nd minute and 78th minute respectively. Minnesota State, Moorhead would score again just minutes later. MSUM’s Abby Kettler narrowly beat Ross to bring the game back within one goal.
Luckily for the Beavers, Ellefsen scored an insurance goal in the last five minutes of the game to secure the win. The goal was her third of the game, and it brings her career total points to 66, just six points shy of claiming the all-time-points leader at BSU.
“When Ellefsen plays with energy and moves off the ball, like she did today, she’s next to impossible to defend,” Stone said. “When she plays at her top level, she increases our chances of winning; I’m glad she’s on our team.”
The Beavers return to action next weekend as they travel to face Upper Iowa on Friday before heading to Winona State on Sunday.