BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State women’s soccer team will go up against the defending national champions to open the 2020 regular season as head coach Jim Stone announced the team’s 2020 schedule on Monday.
The schedule includes 10 regular-season home matches, 15 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contests, and four games against 2019 NCAA Tournament teams, including the regular-season opener against reigning Division II champion Grand Valley State in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Beavers will begin 2020 with a trio of scrimmages, including two at home. BSU will host St. Catherine on Aug. 22, and then hold its alumni game the following day, before closing the preseason with a match at St. Thomas on Aug. 29.
The regular season kicks off Sept. 7 with a trip to Michigan to face the national champions in a nonconference game. Bemidji State met GVSU last September in a neutral-site contest in Mankato, falling 2-0 to the top-ranked Lakers.
The Beavers will host Northern Michigan on Sept. 11 in their home opener at Chet Anderson Stadium before concluding Parents Weekend and nonconference play with a match against Michigan Tech on Sept. 13.
BSU will open the NSIC portion of the schedule Sept. 18 at Northern State, the first of four straight road contests.
The road trip also features the first two games of a three-match spell against 2019 NCAA Tournament qualifiers. Bemidji State will travel to Mankato to face NSIC Tournament champion Minnesota State on Sept. 25 before ending the road swing at league regular-season champion Concordia-St. Paul on Sept. 27. In their return to Bemidji, the Beavers will host NCAA qualifier Augustana at the Chet on Oct. 2.
The Augie match is the first of four at home for BSU, including the Cheryl Smith Cancer Awareness Match against Wayne State on Oct. 4.
Bemidji State’s senior class will be honored on Senior Day in an afternoon game Oct. 25 with Sioux Falls. The Beavers will complete the regular season with a home contest Nov. 6 against Minnesota Crookston.
The NSIC Tournament will begin Nov. 11 with the semifinals set for Nov. 13 and the final Nov. 15. The NCAA Tournament will kick off Nov. 19 with the national championship scheduled for Dec. 12 in Tampa, Fla.
BSU is coming off a 12-6-1 season in 2019. The Beavers went 11-3-1 in NSIC play to finish fourth, only four points back of first place, earning them a home first-round playoff game for the fourth consecutive season. In the last three seasons, Bemidji State has gone 45-8-7 overall and 37-3-5 in NCIC play, while compiling a 25-2-2 mark on its home turf.
All-NSIC selections Sara Wendt and Megan Dahl, both incoming juniors, are among 22 players who will return for BSU this fall. Allyson Smith, a 2018 All-NSIC honoree, will also return to the lineup after sitting out last season for medical reasons. Nine newcomers are set to join the roster, as well.