EMPORIA, Kan. (ESU Soccer Pitch) – Freshman midfielder Mariah Nguyen scored a goal and Alyssa Stumbaugh and the Bemidji State University defense posted their 14th shutout of the season to defeat Emporia State University 1-0 and advance to the third round of the NCAA Division II Soccer Tournament for the first time in program history.
Nguyen picked a memorable moment for her first collegiate goal, not only did it keep the Beavers’ season alive, it established a program record for wins in a season with 19, surpassing its 2018 total of 18.
In an evenly played first half, the Beavers held a 1-0 lead.
BSU controlled play for large portions of time, but the stout Hornets’ defense allowed just four shots and two shots on goal. In the 34th minute of play, the Beavers got a throw-in and generated a shot that was blocked. Nguyen collected the rebound and slipped in her first goal of the season to the far left post.
Despite going against a stiff wind during the final 45 minutes, BSU again held control of the ball for long segments of time. During the final five minutes of play, the Hornets made a significant push and nearly tied the game on two occasions, but Stumbaugh stood tall when called upon and preserved the victory.
ESU finished the match with a 9-5 edge in total shots, while the teams each logged three shots on goal. The Hornets finished with 11 corner kicks, which included two during the final nine minutes of play.
Stumbaugh, who completed the weekend without allowing a goal in BSU's two NCAA Tournament matches, made three saves Sunday to record her 11th shutout of the season and equal BSU great Anna Fobbe for the single-season program record. She improves to 17-1-2 in 2021.
Bemidji State now 18-1-3 overall, will now advance to the third round as one of the 16 remaining teams in the country. The Beavers will face the University of Central Missouri in the Central Regional Final Dec. 2 or 3 in Allendale, Mich. at Grand Valley State University. The winner will face the winner of the Midwest Regional, either Grand Valley State or Saginaw Valley State in the national quarterfinal Dec. 4 or 5.
The NCAA Tournament will run through Dec. 11 with the semifinals and championship held in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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 Central Collegiate Hockey Association and Western Collegiate Hockey Association, respectively, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).