BEMIDJI, Minn. - In a thriller of a game, the Bemidji State University soccer team hosted number six Minnesota State to open NSIC play. The game was a close one requiring extra minutes to decide a victor, but it would be the Mavericks of MSU that would walk away with a 1-0 win.
“When you play that well and that collectively it’s tough not to come away with a point, but we have to move on, put it past us, and get ready for tomorrow,” said head coach Jim Stone.
Minnesota State’s Laura Leber scored the game-winning goal when she broke past the Bemidji State defense and put the ball in the bottom-left corner in the 98th minute.
Bemidji State was out shot 21-7, but goalkeeper Samantha Ross (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) was content on keeping a clean sheet for the Beavers. Ross made eight saves in regulation to keep the game scoreless, including a great diving save in the 71st minute.
Ross also broke a team record with 523:07 minutes played without conceding a goal. Kari Torgerson set the previous mark of 429:03 back in 2004.
“Kari had a pretty big shadow and was a great goalie, so it’s good for Ross to put her own stamp on the program,” Stone said. “Someday, some keeper will have to get out of the shadow that Ross is creating today.”
The old record almost stayed intact when in the fifth minute Leber rolled a ball past Ross, but BSU defender Maddie Pletta (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) slid in to make the save allowing Ross to become the new record holder.
“I was nervous for the first bit, especially when they almost scored there in the beginning, but fortunately Pletta made a great play and kept the ball out,” Ross said. “I actually didn’t know about the record until we lined up for the start of the game.”
BSU had some quality opportunities on offense during the game, but were only able to get one shot on goal. The Beavers tried playing the through ball all game, but the stingy Maverick defense was able to stop most of the BSU attacks.
Bemidji State had two chances at the end of the game to win it. The first came in the 88th minute when Ashlee Ellefsen (Jr., Hugo, Minn.) broke past the Maverick D-line, but fired the ball right into the arms of MSU keeper Shelia Reynold. The second chance came in the 98th minute when Yesenia Garcia (Jr., Great Bend, Kan.) took a shot off the volley from the top of the 18-yard box. However, Garcia’s shot sailed just over the net.
Bemidji State will return to action tomorrow afternoon when the Beavers host the Mustangs of Southwest Minnesota State at 1 p.m. back at the BSU Soccer Field.