Beavers advance to Sweet Sixteen after overtime victory over No. 12 Minnesota State
The No. 24 Bemidji State University Women’s Soccer team advanced to its second consecutive NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Sweet Sixteen after defeating No. 12 Minnesota State University, Mankato 4-2 in the second overtime Sunday evening at Chet Anderson Stadium.
It is just the second time in the program’s 27-year history that the Beavers advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament and the first time in program history they are hosting the third and fourth round.
It was a back-and-forth match between the top two teams in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference as each team surrendered at least one lead in the game.
The Mavericks (14-2-6) would score the game’s first goal in the 26th minute after Maille Mathis collected a loose ball about 15 yards out and put the ball in the upper 90 to score her ninth goal of the season.
However, just seven minutes later, Bemidji State’s Allyson Smith collected a throw in from Lauren Harrison and beat her defender and after a quick turn, placed a beautiful to the far upper 90 with her left foot and evened the score at one.
The teams would enter halftime knotted at one but just four minutes into the second half, senior Halle Peterson headed a corner kick from Maggie Cade that put the Beavers up 2-1. The Mavericks were quick to answer and just one minute later, three-time NSIC Offensive Player of the Year Jenny Vetter found herself loose behind the Beavers’ defense and scored her 12th goal of the season to tie the game once again.
The second half would end with the score tied at 2-2 and the teams would then play two 10-minute overtime halves to decide a winner. After a scoreless first overtime, Bemidji State broke through in the 102nd minute when Emily Baurr won a challenge in front of the Mavericks’ goal which Sara Wendt then received and one-touched a pass to sophomore Maria Stocke who made a great run and then finished with her left foot to the far post to put the Beavers up one with eight minutes to play.
The Beavers played with confidence from then out and with under two minutes remaining, Wendt sealed the game with her 13th goal of the season after catching the Mavericks’ defense out of formation.
Minnesota State pressured the Beavers’ defense and attempted 25 shots in the game including 15 on goal but senior Alyssa Stumbaugh was steady between the posts and made 13 saves in the game, a career high.
Bemidji State totaled 11 shots and five on goal but made most of its opportunities after scoring four goals on five shots.
The Beavers are now 16-2-5 on the season and will play Emporia State University at Chet Anderson Stadium Friday, Nov. 18 at 3:00 p.m., for the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Joining Emporia State in Bemidji will be defending National Champions Grand Valley State University and Ferris State University. The will play their third-round matchup Friday at Noon.