SOCCER: Second-half goals lift BSU to 3-1 comeback win
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State soccer team found itself in an unfamiliar position Friday afternoon.
Trailing at halftime for only the second time since 2016, the No. 22-ranked Beavers tallied three second-half goals behind Allyson Smith’s performance to prevail 3-1 over Michigan Tech in a non-conference match at Chet Anderson Stadium.
The Beavers (3-0-0) trailed at halftime only once last season during a 1-0 loss in the NSIC tournament semifinals against Augustana. Despite outshooting the Huskies (1-1-1) in shots on goal, 5-1, BSU was behind 1-0 at the half.
“We were playing very well in the first half, so we were frustrated because the scoreboard didn’t really reflect the play on the field,” Smith said. “We went to the locker room, talked about the things we needed to correct and just came out with so much power and tenacity.”
“I was obviously impressed with the girls’ response,” BSU head coach Jim Stone said. “I thought they came out and fought really hard in the second half and just kept going after it.”
Smith, the 2017 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Freshman of the Year, had a hand in all three goals. The Brainerd native assisted on the first and scored the final two.
“Hard work makes a lot of things happen on the field,” Smith said. “When you’re working hard and your teammates are working hard around you, it makes it easier to make things happen.”
Rachael Norton came within inches of putting BSU ahead early in the match. Huskies goalkeeper Amanda Young made a partial save on Norton’s shot and a defender cleared the ball away from the doorstep in the 12th minute.
After going the first 210 minutes of the season without conceding a goal, the Beavers’ shutout streak ended a half hour into the match.
Marisa DeMario scored in the 31st minute by burying her shot from the edge of the box past goalkeeper Anna Fobbe.
The Beavers quickly turned things around in the second half.
In the 52nd minute, Smith fired a shot that deflected off the goalie. Dani Nelson was there to pocket the ball into a wide-open net for the equalizer.
Nine minutes later, Smith created her own goal scoring chance. The sophomore forward headed the ball up while evading a defender, collected it herself and beat the goalie 1-on-1 for the 61st minute strike. Nelson earned an assist on the goal.
Smith continued her second-half domination in the 80th minute when she turned near the top of the 18-yard box and fired a laser into the back of the net for the insurance goal.
“I thought that was huge for her getting on the board,” Stone said. “Not just the goals but her work rate, which is always in play, was fantastic. I think her movement off the ball has improved, and that one goal, she just struck it like no one’s business.”
Anna Fobbe made three saves and conceded one goal in net for BSU.
The Beavers will journey west to Grand Forks, N.D., for a matchup with Division I North Dakota at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9.
“It’s a great chance to go up and play a Division I team,” Smith said. “It’ll really show us where we’re standing. It’ll be a good test of where we are in the season.”
Bemidji State 3, Michigan Tech 1
BSU 0 3 -- 3
MTU 1 0 -- 1
First half -- MTU, DeMario (Shaw), 31’.
Second half -- BSU, Nelson (Smith), 52’; BSU, Smith (Nelson), 61’; BSU, Smith (unassisted), 80’.