Stone announces the addition of transfer forward Mary O’Brien
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Stone announces the addition of transfer forward Mary O’Brien
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University head soccer coach Jim Stone announced the addition of transfer forward Mary O’Brien (RS-Fr., 5-6, Maplewood, Minn.) Tuesday.  The Maplewood, Minn. native will join the Beavers for the 2011 season after redshirting during her first collegiate season as a member of the University of Minnesota women’s soccer program.  

She will have four years of NCAA eligibility remaining and will be able to compete when the team hits the pitch this fall.

“Mary is a very hard-working, competitive player,” said Stone.

“She was heaven-sent for us. We feel confident that our returning group will fill the scoring void left by our 2010 senior class, but we wanted to add one more freshman who was a potential goal-scorer.”  Stone added, “We think she can fill that role.  She will greatly enhance our attack and hopefully score a few goals for us over the next four years.”

A 2010 graduate of North High School, O’Brien was a two-time All-Classic Suburban selection for the Polars garnering four letters in soccer, while earning five letters in ice hockey and another in track and field. She was also active on the club circuit playing for Oryz/St. Croix Vukovia Premier and St. Croix Arsenal U19 club teams, where she was a part of a 2009 U17 USA Cup Championship and U17 KISS Tournament runner-up squad.

Equally as talented in the classroom, O’Brien was listed on the North “A” Honor Roll each of her four years in high school and earned four academic letters.

After graduation, O’Brien gained invaluable experience as a redshirt player at Minnesota.  Due to NCAA redshirt regulations, she did not compile any statistics in 2010, but got the opportunity to train along side and learn from some of the elite talent in collegiate women’s soccer.  

In 2010, the Golden Gophers, who were led by All-Big Ten and NSCAA/Performance Subaru NCAA Division I Women All-Great Lakes Region Team performers Katie Bethke and Kylie Kallman, knocked off four nationally-ranked opponents and assembled 11-game winning streak en route to a 14-6-3 record and a spot in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for just the second time in program history.  

Minnesota capped 2010 by being ranked No. 16 in the final poll and No. 21 in the NWCA Coaches poll.

“Mary is a player that will come in with some great experiences under her belt,” commented Stone.  “She’s played at a premier level with her club her entire life and her time at the U [University of Minnesota] was a great in terms of training in a really competitive environment with other athletes who are competing at a high level.

“She will push everyone around her and hopefully make us a better team.”

One of six children, O’Brien’s brother, Jim, played hockey at Minnesota in 2006-07 before signing a professional contract with the Ottawa Senators and continues to play in the organization.  

She is the daughter of Peter and Diane O’Brien.

O’Brien will join the 2011 freshman class of Sonja Barr (Duluth, Minn.), Katie Espe (Grand Forks, N.D.), Molly Flahavan (Maidson, Wis.), Annie Glissendorf (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Jillian Hall (Oswego, Ill.), Ashley Hensley (San Antonio, Texas), Rachel Scheller (Maple Grove, Minn.) and Mari Wallestad (Ramsey, Minn.) who each signed National Letters of Intent to attend Bemidji State Feb. 2 to begin the NCAA’s early signing period.

The Beavers are coming off one of their most successful seasons in school history. Finishing with a 14-4-1 overall record and a 9-3-1 mark in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) play, the 2010 squad set program records for the most wins and fewest goals allowed (16) in a single season.

Bemidji State returns nine players with starting experience for 2011 including, the entire midfield and back line. After a warm-up exhibition versus its alumni team Aug. 20, the BSU soccer team officially opens the 2011 slate with an Aug. 27 exhibition at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).