MARQUETTE, Mich. - Ashlee Ellefsen picked up from where she left off last season, the Bemidji State soccer team played lock-down defense and defeated Northern Michigan in the season opener Saturday afternoon at the NMU Practice Field.
Ellefson, BSU's leading scorer from last season, scored in the 89th minute on a feed from freshman Briana Scanlan. It was the 10th career goal for the sophomore, which tied her for 10th in BSU history.
Bemidji State sophomore keeper Samantha Ross recorded her first career shutout with 10 saves in the victory.
BSU avenged last season's 4-0 defeat to Northern Michigan and won for the first time in six meetings against the Wildcats.
Bemidji State concludes the weekend today against Minnesota-Duluth at noon.
The Beavers struggled early and were outshot 6-2 in the opening half, but strong play from the defenders and midfielders held the Wildcats off the scoreboard.
Bemidji State shifted from a defensive style of play to an offensive style in the second half and were able to generate pressure. The Beavers attempted all three of its corner kicks in the game in the second half. BSU and NMU each had four shots on goal in the second half.
The game-winning goal began when sophomore Alysha Domiano gathered an errant pass near the BSU goal line. Her pass hit freshman Kari McAllen, who put a touch pass to Scanlan on the left side of the field.
Scanlan dodged a Wildcat defender and passed to junior Jamie Ford in the middle of the field. Ford continued the play with a quick pass to Ellefsen, who put the goal in the right side of the net with just over a minute to play.