BEMIDJI -- It’s been four years since Isabelle Morin scored a goal. So long ago, in fact, that she forgot how good it feels to be the center of a celebration.
“On the goal celebrations, we (defenders) always have to sprint up,” Morin said. “And I was already there. It saved me the run, I guess.”
Morin netted her first collegiate goal for the Bemidji State women’s soccer team on Friday night, producing the game-winner and elevating the No. 11 Beavers to a 4-0 win over Southwest Minnesota State at Chet Anderson Stadium.
“She was so happy,” BSU head coach Jim Stone said. “We were trying to talk to her afterwards, and I don’t even think she knew where she was. To be able to see that joy on her face (is special).”
Morin crept up from her outside back position and found the side netting from a tight angle. The senior lifted her decisive shot over Mustang keeper Meghan Harkin in the 35th minute.
“All the forwards made really good runs. We had them in their places, so there was this huge opening,” Morin said. “It was a nice gap, and I was getting kind of cold, so I had to go for a run. I ran up and got a good ball.”
Morin played the Maria Stocke pass like a natural, leaning on a goal-scoring background from her prep days.
A 2018 Bemidji High School graduate, Morin scored 27 goals for the Lumberjacks in a much more offensive-minded role. But she’d never scored in Bemidji State green and white until Friday.
Considering her birthday is Sunday, it’s not a bad early present for herself.
“I was pretty stoked,” Morin said. “It was a joke on the team because it’s my birthday this weekend. I was like, ‘I’ll score for my birthday in my last year.’”
Morin, Schilling, Wendt and Carlson scored to lead the Beavers to a 4-0 victory over SMSU.— Bemidji State Soccer (@BSUBeaverSoccer) October 23, 2021
the highlights here! pic.twitter.com/jjPPBjOy9V
Lo and behold, her prophecy came true. But she wasn’t the only Beaver to accomplish a career first.
Freshman Megan Carlson fired in a close-range shot in the 58th minute, good for her first collegiate goal.
Carlson’s score was the last of the night, but it was an encore to back-to-back fireworks earlier in the second half.
Mason Schilling and Sara Wendt ballooned the difference to 3-0 within 12 seconds of each other, scoring on back-to-back chances that provided instant relief.
“They really pushed us in the first half,” Stone said. “(The goals) really opened the game up for us, took some pressure off.”
The Mustangs (3-9-1, 2-8-1 NSIC) gave it their all to soil the shutout, but BSU keeper Alyssa Stumbaugh preserved her clean sheet on a highlight-reel save with mere seconds remaining. As a hopeful ball screamed her way, Stumbaugh soared high and redirected the ball above the crossbar for her fourth and final save.
“The shutout was huge, and Alyssa’s save at the end was insane,” Morin said. “She’s so good at those. It’s really good to get those shutouts. It solidifies the defense, and it’s our glory.”
The margin of victory was the biggest all season for Bemidji State (12-0-2, 9-0-2 NSIC). Stone was impressed not only with the differential, but also the attitude that led to it.
“We’re getting more mature in terms of how we compete,” he said. “We’re really showing a healthy respect for our opponents, not looking at records but more looking at the potential that each opponent has and the challenges they bring. I’m proud of the way we’ve (done that).”
The Beavers wrap up the weekend with Senior Day, scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff against Sioux Falls on Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Chet.
No. 11 Bemidji State 4, Southwest MN State 0
SMSU 0 0 -- 0
BSU 1 3 -- 4
First half -- 1, BSU GOAL, Morin (Stocke), 35’.
Second half -- 2, BSU GOAL, Schilling (Smith), 48’; 3, BSU GOAL, Wendt (unassisted), 48’; 4, BSU GOAL, Carlson (Stocke), 58’.
Saves -- Stumbaugh (BSU) 4; Harkin (SMSU) 4; Arballo (SMSU) 2.