Beavers strike first and defeat UND
Friday, September 3, 2010
Beavers strike first and defeat UND
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Bemidji State University soccer team kickstarted the 2010 season opening with a win over a NCAA Division I team beating the University of North Dakota 3-1 on Friday afternoon.

In the ninth meeting between the two teams, BSU picked up its second win and second-straight.

The Beavers took to the field with the wind in their faces. Noticing the disadvantage, the Fighting Sioux took over early controlling the ball well and pressing into BSU’s half of the field. In the first eight minutes a North Dakota attacker got tripped up with Bemidji State’s Alysha Domiano (Sr., Def., Dayton, Minn.) inside the 18-yard box, but keeper Abby Kjonaas (Jr., Fargo, N.D.) came out to collect the loose ball.

Minutes later Kjonaas collected a lofty attempt by UND, but was called for a hand ball when she accidently stepped outside of the box to toss the ball back into play. The resulting free kick created a scoring chance for UND, but the shot was taken low and Kjonaas made an easy save.

After spending most of the first half on defense, BSU finally got the ball of its half of the field and went on the attack. Midfielder Tiffany Van Haaften (So., Chaska, Minn.) took a shot on net that ended up being saved by UND defender Rhaya Ballon. The rebound found its way to Bemidji State’s leading goal scorer Ashlee Ellefsen (Sr., For., Hugo, Minn.), however Ellfesen’s attempt on net was turned away by Sioux keeper Monica Stierman.

Minutes later Ellefsen started making a run on the right side of the field and made a cross over to the left side to teammate Jenny Stromberg (Sr., For., Elk River, Minn.) who got a shot on net. Again however, UND’s keeper denied it, getting a hand on it tipping it just wide of the net.

The second half would draw to a close with both sides deadlocked in a 0-0 tie.

With the winds now at their back, the Beavers looked to take control of the game and score the first goal of the game. Ellefsen nearly got Bemidji State on the board in the 49th minute when she got a header on goal that was saved by the keeper.

However, just minutes later BSU would find the goal they were looking for from newcomer Jessie Voeller (For., White Bear Lake, Minn.). Junior defender Kathryn Bjorge (Prior Lake, Minn.) found Voeller making a run through the middle of the field and connected with her on a through ball. Voeller received the pass and tapped it left of Ballon to score the first Beaver-goal of the season and the first goal of her collegiate career.

With Ellefsen having been denied multiple times previously in the game, she finally found the back of the net in the 57th minute. Jamie Ford (Sr., For., Edina, Minn.) picked up an assist when she had the ball to the left of the goal inside the 18-yard box. She went to loft a pass to Ellefsen for a header, but the ball got tipped by a defender. Luckily, the ball still found Ellefsen’s foot, who tapped in the second goal of the game, giving the Beavers a 2-0 lead.

Ford kept up her offensive prowess and looked to get a goal of her own after finding herself one-on-one with the keeper. Ballon charged out of her net and Ford played an unselfish ball to the side to find an open teammate. However, a UND defender was able to touch the ball out for a corner.

With just over 20 minutes left in the game, North Dakota got on the board after scoring on a jumbled play out left of the BSU net.

After losing the two-goal lead, Bemidji State wanted to play out the rest of the game keeping the scoreline. In the 74th minute Kara Smyth (Sr., Mid., Cary, Ill.) scored an insurance goal for the Beavers off of a corner kick. Smyth took the corner with the wind coming in towards the Sioux goal from her left. The ball arched up, hit off the far post and bounced in to put the Beavers up 3-1.

The Beavers were then able to hold on picking up their first win of the season and second all-time against North Dakota. Bemidji State will return to the field Sunday afternoon when they host Viterbo University at 1 p.m. at the BSU Soccer Field

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