SOCCER: Beavers hold on to defeat Huskies
BEMIDJI -- Despite surrendering two penalty kick goals in the final 11 minutes, the Bemidji State soccer team held on for the 3-2 win over St. Cloud State Friday afternoon at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Senior forward Rachael Norton brought her season goal haul up to a team-high four with two tallies on the day, and senior forward Dani Nelson increased her season total to three with her second-half strike.
On the Beavers’ lone first-half goal, Norton snuck behind the defense and received a feed from junior midfielder Melanie Peltier, beating goalkeeper Zoe Welsh for the 12th minute strike.
The teams finished the first half even with two shots on goal apiece, though BSU held a 6-2 advantage in total shots.
The No. 14 Beavers (5-0-0, 2-0-0 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) went to halftime up 1-0, but were looking for more in the final 45 minutes.
“I think we came out slower than we expected,” Norton said. “At halftime we decided we needed to pick it up a lot more. We knew that their defense was getting tired, and even though we were getting tired we knew had another level yet.”
The striker barely needed three minutes to bag her second goal of the game, beating a defender for the score. Allyson Smith and Peltier picked up assists on the 49th minute goal.
Nelson widened the gap to three goals in the 53rd minute, lacing a shot inside the left post for her third goal of the season.
The Huskies (1-3-1, 1-1-0 NSIC) celebrated as if they scored less than two minutes later, but the goal was called back on an offside call. The Beavers were also ruled offside when Alanna Mattson’s apparent goal was taken off the board around the 65th minute.
SCSU officially got on the board in the 79th minute thanks to a foul in the 18-yard box. Maria Witte converted from the spot for the penalty kick goal.
Witte found herself back at the spot in the 90th minute with another chance at a PK following a handball in the box called on BSU. For the second time on the day, the defender beat senior goalie Anna Fobbe for the goal, but it came too late.
“They nice thing for them is they can walk away from the experience and still win,” BSU head coach Jim Stone said regarding the players whose fouls led to the PK goals. “When that happens and your team loses because of a penalty, then emotionally it’s pretty devastating. But I think they’ll be fine, and hopefully they just learn from it.”
Fobbe made five saves for the match, while Welsh stopped two shots for SCSU.
BSU utilized 12 substitutes, while a tired Huskies squad trotted out only five during the match. The Beavers should have plenty left in the tank for their next game Sunday, Sept. 16, against Minnesota Duluth. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Chet Anderson Stadium.
“I think our depth did pay off there, and obviously you hope it pays off in your Sunday game,” Stone said. “Because when you play Friday-Sunday, it’s a lot of stress on the body in a short period of time. If you can play a volume of players, I think there’s a benefit to it.”