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Preseason games a gain for Bemidji St. soccer

Just two weeks after starting practices, the Bemidji State soccer team traveled to St. Paul Friday for two exhibition games against St. Catherine's University and the University of St. Thomas.

The Beavers tied the first game against St. Catherine's 2-2 and won the second match against St. Thomas 1-0.

The games gave the team an insight on what is going well and also on what needs to be improved on before starting the regular season.

"I think at times we passed the ball well and at other times we gave the ball away too much," head soccer coach Jim Stone said. "Overall, I think we are on track on terms of getting to where we need to be."

Freshman Tiffany VanHaaften scored against St. Catherine's while also picking up an assist on sophomore Kirsten Erickson's goal in the same game.

Junior Ashlee Ellefsen picked up from where she left off last year scoring the lone goal against St. Thomas. Ellefsen led the team in scoring last year with 12 goals and seven assists.

The game against St. Thomas was an excellent test for the Beavers as they embark on their final week of practice before taking on Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday, Aug. 27.

"St. Thomas is a physical, high-level team," Stone said. "It really prepares us to go into a hostile place and to put our best foot forward in terms of getting a result."

The matches were structured a bit differently; the first game was played with three 20-minute periods and the second game with three 25-minute periods.

The squad was split into two separate teams, while goaltenders Samantha Ross and Abby Kjonaas split time in net during both games.