BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University soccer team kicks off the 2014 season Sunday as it travels to Brookings, S.D. to battle NCAA Division I opponent, South Dakota State University for a 1 p.m. nonconference contest at Fishback Soccer Park.
Scouting Bemidji State
The Beavers look to build upon a 12-7-0 overall record and a 9-6-0 mark in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) play last season. BSU’s season came to an end in the first-round of the NSIC playoffs to NCAA tournament participant University of Minnesota Duluth. Coming into this season, the Beavers were picked to finish sixth in the 2014 NSIC Preseason Soccer Coaches’ Poll. It marks the fourth consecutive season that BSU has been selected as the league’s preseason No. 6 pick.
On the pitch, BSU will be led by NSIC Players to Watch Sarah Stram (F, So., Elk Grove Village, Ill.) and Mari Wallestad (D, Sr., Ramsey, Minn.). Stram had a breakout freshman season for the Beavers in 2013. Bemidji State’s leading scoring threat played in all 19 games and recorded 17 starts. Stram finished the season first on the team and ninth in the NSIC with 19 points. Wallestad, meanwhile, played in all 19 games as a junior recording 18 starts, ranked second on the team with 1,662 minutes and contributed to a defensive effort that posted eight shutouts in 2013.
Scouting South Dakota State
SDSU owns a 0-3-0 mark so far in 2014, but have played some staunch competition in No. 19 University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota and Creighton University. The Jackrabbits shouldn’t be overlooked despite the slow start as they were 11-5-2 in 2013 and were the No. 2 seed in the Summit League Tournament in 2013.
The 2014 Jackrabbits are led offensively by Diana Pooterveld, who has a goal, assist and leads the team with three shots on goal this season. Defensively, SDSU uses two goalkeepers in Elissa Stamatakis and Nicole Inskeep. Both goalies have logged over 115 minutes thus far.
The Jackrabbits defeated the Beavers, 6-0, in their only previous meeting Sept. 1, 2001 in Bemidji, Minn.
Following their matchup with SDSU, the Beavers open NSIC play Sept. 9 with a road contest versus University of Minnesota Crookston at the UMC Soccer Field. The match is set for a 4 p.m. opening kick.
For more information on the Bemidji State University soccer program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the “Multimedia” pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).