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Bemidji State soccer picked sixth in NSIC preseason coaches poll

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BURNSVILLE -- For the third straight season the Bemidji State soccer team was chosen to finish sixth by Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference coaches.

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The Beavers were picked to finish sixth before the 2012 season and finished exactly there with an 8-5-2 conference record. BSU finished 10-7-2 overall.

Coaches picked Winona State to finish first. Since 2000 the Warriors have been picked to win the league 11 times; they received 10 first place votes and tallied 215 points -- just ahead of defending NSIC regular season Minnesota State Mankato. MSU received five first place votes and 213 points. Minot State, who won the conference tournament title in their first year in NCAA Division II, was picked to finish third.

Upper Iowa and Minnesota Duluth were also picked ahead of Bemidji State in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

League coaches also picked junior forward Mary O'Brien and senior defender Samantha Lumberg as NSIC Players to Watch.

O'Brien was a second-team All-NSIC pick last season and led the Beavers in scoring with 24 points while Lumberg was a third-team All-NSIC pick and has played in all 57 games in her collegiate career. Last season the Beavers had five shutouts and allowed just 1.22 goals a game during NSIC play.

The league's coaches selected Minot State's Zoe Fisher was named the conference's preseason offensive player of the year while Upper Iowa's Amanda Smith named defensive player of the year.

BSU is currently on an overseas tripp in Costa Rica. The Beavers return later this week and have a few weeks of practice before opening the 2013 season with a Sept. 6 game against Missouri Western State. The game will be the first soccer game ever played at BSU's Chet Anderson Stadium, and the first contest on the newly-installed FieldTurf.

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