Beavers get preseason match experience
Friday, August 21, 2009

BEMIDJI, Minn. - Just two weeks after starting practices, the Bemidji State soccer team traveled to St. Paul today to take on St. Catherine’s University and the University of St. Thomas in a pair of exhibition matches.

The Beavers tied the first game against St. Catherine’s 2-2 while winning the second match against St. Thomas 1-0.

The games gave the team an insight on what they’re doing well and also on what they still may need to improve upon before starting the regular season.

“I think at times we passed the ball well and at other times we gave the ball away too much,” said head soccer coach Jim Stone. “Overall, I think we are on track on terms of getting to where we need to be.”

Tiffany VanHaaften (Fr., Mid., Chaska, Minn.) looked to be in good form netting a goal against St. Catherine’s while also picking up an assist on Kirsten Erickson’s (So., Mid., Coon Rapids, Minn.) goal in the same game.

Ashlee Ellefsen (Jr., For., Hugo, Minn.) picked up from where she left off last year scoring the lone goal against St. Thomas. Ellefsen led the team in scoring last year putting away 12 goals and seven assists for 31 points. She currently ranks sixth overall for career goals at 19.

The game against St. Thomas was an excellent test for the Beavers as they embark on their final week of practice before taking on Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday, Aug. 27.

“St. Thomas is a physical, high-level team,” Stone said. “It really prepares us to go into a hostile place and to put our best foot forward in terms of getting a result.”

The matches were structured a bit differently; the first game was played with three 20-minute periods and the second game with three 25-minute periods. That wasn’t the only difference the Beavers faced, as they had to play both games in the same afternoon. The squad was split into two separate teams, while goaltenders Samantha Ross (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) and Abby Kjonaas (So., Fargo, N.D.) split time in net during both games.

The Beavers return Saturday afternoon as they host the annual alumni game at the BSU Soccer Field at noon.