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SOCCER: BSU fall in exhibition opener at NDSU

FARGO — Just a day after taking the field for their first official practice Monday, Bemidji State’s soccer season officially opened Tuesday with an exhibition game against Division I North Dakota State.

The Beavers kept it close but the Bison scored twice and held on to win 2-1.

NDSU’s two goals — one in the 23rd minute by Anisha Kinnerath and another in the 55th minute by Lauren Miller — were highlighted by assists from Jaclyn Scanlan. Scanlan is the daughter of BSU women’s hockey coach Jim Scanlan and the sister of former BSU soccer player Bri Scanlan.

The Beavers got on the scoreboard in the 66th minute when an NDSU defender kicked in an own goal but couldn’t equalize later in the game.

The Bison outshot the Beavers 7-4 in the game, while each team took three corner kicks.

Bemidji State is 0-6-0 all-time against the Bison, but each of the last three meetings between the teams have been decided by just one goal.

BSU begins its regular season Sept. 7 against another Division I opponent, South Dakota State — in a nonconference game that will count as a regular game, not just an exhibition.

BSU’s NSIC season officially gets underway Sept. 9 at Minnesota Crookston.

BSU picked sixth

Also Tuesday, the Beavers were picked to finish sixth out of 16 teams in the most recent NSIC preseason coaches poll in a release sent by the league.

It’s the fourth consecutive year the Beavers have finished sixth in the coaches’ poll; BSU was picked to finish sixth in 2013 by coaches and finished just there. The Beavers went 12-7 overall and 9-6 in the NSIC before falling to Minnesota Duluth 2-0 in the NSIC quarterfinals.

Minnesota State Mankato was picked to finish first by league coaches while Minnesota Duluth was picked second. Also picked to finish ahead of BSU is Winona State, Southwest Minnesota State and Upper Iowa.

BSU’s Sarah Stram and Mari Wallestad were picked as BSU’s Players to Watch for the season.

Stram, a sophomore forward from Elk Grove Villiage, Ill., led the team with 19 points and was tied for the lead with seven goals.

Wallestad, a senior defender from Ramsey, played in all 19 games and 1,662 minutes for the Beavers in 2013, making her one of the most valuable defenders on the team.