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WOMEN’S SOCCER: Bemidji State tops Minot State, senses NSIC title nearing

BSU defeated Minot State 2-0 on the road in the penultimate game of the regular season, which has Bemidji State right on the brink of its second conference title in program history.

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Bemidji State Beavers
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MINOT, N.D. -- With two Beaver Bash goals on Sunday, the Bemidji State women’s soccer team made one giant leap toward the NSIC regular season championship.

BSU defeated Minot State 2-0 on the road in the penultimate game of the regular season, which has Bemidji State right on the brink of its second conference title in program history.

“We know it’s right there,” BSU senior Allyson Smith said. “We’re in the driver’s seat, and we control our own destiny. We’re the only ones who get to say how this turns out.”

Bemidji State kept its one-point lead over second-place Minnesota State in the conference standings on Sunday. That means BSU can clinch the title outright -- plus home-field advantage through the conference tournament -- by beating Minnesota Crookston in Friday’s regular season finale.

“I could tell, after the game, how excited they are for Friday,” head coach Jim Stone said. “We talked about the opportunity to play at home and be able to clinch at home, how special that can be. I think they’re enjoying the ride, but they’re goal-oriented, too.”

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Bemidji State also tied the program’s longest unbeaten streak of 20 matches on Sunday. The Beavers have posted an 18-0-2 mark during that stretch (which includes three games from the spring 2021 season), and they’re one of six undefeated teams remaining in Division II this year.

“We’re showing a lot of people who didn’t necessarily believe that we could do these things and get these kind of numbers that, hey, we’re here to put up a fight,” Smith said. “It shows our character and how hard we work. The team we do put on that field is a really good team.”

Smith and Megan Carlson had near-unstoppable goals for BSU (15-0-2, 12-0-2 NSIC) on Sunday. Smith’s came in the 32nd minute on a first-touch rocket to the top left corner, while Carlson fired top right in the 57th minute with a matching upper-90 goal placement.

“You’ve got to hit that ball perfectly, and you’ve got to make sure your technique is spot on,” Stone said of such pinpoint strikes. “Everything has to line up perfectly. There’s not much margin for error. To see goals like that, it’s exciting for the players and the coaches to see all that hard work pay off with something of that quality.”

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On the opposite end of the field, Alyssa Stumbaugh stretched her shutout streak to 318:54 with three saves on Minot State (10-5-2, 9-3-2 NSIC).

BSU can now claim the NSIC regular season championship by beating Minnesota Crookston at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at Chet Anderson Stadium. The Beavers can also clinch if Minnesota State loses to Concordia-St. Paul on Friday, or if both Bemidji State and MSU tie.

“It’s so cool,” Smith said of the title chase. “This team is so, so special. I’m excited for what we can continue to do.”

No. 6 Bemidji State 2, Minot State 0

BSU 1 1 -- 2

MiSU 0 0 -- 0

First half -- 1, BSU GOAL, Smith (Breffle), 32’.

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Second half -- 2, BSU GOAL, Carlson (unassisted), 57’.

Saves -- Stumbaugh (BSU) 3; Kindred (MiSU) 10.

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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