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Winning reputation aids BSU soccer in recruiting

Bemidji State head soccer coach Jim Stone talks to local media about the 2011 recruiting class during a press conference?Wednesday afternoon at BSU. Pioneer?Photo/Eric Stromgren

Bemidji State University soccer head coach Jim Stone announced Wednesday the signing of seven players to National Letters of Intent.

Players in the 2011 recruiting class are Sonja Barr of Duluth, Katie Espe of Grand Forks, N.D., Molly Flahavan of Madison, Wis., Annie Glissendorf of Sioux Falls, S.D., Ashley Hensley of San Antonio, Texas, Rachel SCheller of Maple Grove and Mari Wallestad of Ramsey.

"I think this class represents how we've spread our wings a bit and cast our net a little wider," Stone said. "We have five states represented in this class. Minnesota is always going to be a priority, but we feel blessed that our program has earned a quality reputation within our entire region. I think we have a special culture in our program; it's a caring, nurturing culture, but also very competitive. I think this entire class represents those characteristics and I think that's why they were attracted to this program."

Barr, a goalie out of Duluth East High School, is a three-year letterwinner and helped lead the Greyhounds to the 2010 state championship. She had four shutouts her senior season.

Espe, a midfield/defender out of Grand Forks Red River High School, is a standout of the Greater Grand Forks Soccer Club. As a junior she helped lead the club to four tournament titles.

Flavahan, a defender out of James Madison Memorial High School, is BSU's first recruit from the Madison area. She has played varsity soccer for three years there and helped her team to a 20-2-3 record last season.

Glissendorf, a forward/midfielder out of Roosevelt High School, helped lead her team to the state tournament all four years at the varsity level.

Hensley, a defender out of Winston Churchill High School, played three years of varsity soccer. She also played with the Classics Elite Soccer Academy and reached the state tournament.

Scheller, a midfield/defender out of Maple Grove High School, is a three-year letter winner and was a captain her senior year. She helped lead the Wayzata Soccer Club to the U-16 state championship.

Wallestad, a defender out of Elk River High School, was co-captain the past two season and was a two-time all-conference player. She was named to the Class 2A coaches association all-state team and was named to the all-state tournament team last season.

"On the field we've added a lot of defensive quality," Stone said. "We've added some versatility in a few players who could play multiple positions and we brought in a skilled attacking player. All in all I think this class meets our needs of keeping us at a highly competitive level and hopefully also allowing us to continue growing as a program."

Bemidji State finished the 2010 season with a 14-4-1 (9-3-1 NSIC) record and set the school record for most wins in a season. The Beavers finished third place in the NSIC. In the four years before Jim Stone took charge of the soccer program at BSU, the team had a total of 13 wins. Since the start of the 2002 season Stone has recorded 87 wins, including five winning seasons.