Beaver Fever Friday – Halle Peterson – Soccer

Peterson named NSIC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year as Beavers picked to finish third in Preseason Poll
Bemidji State Women’s Soccer voted to finish third in preseason poll

The No. 9 Bemidji State University Women’s Soccer team has been voted to finish third in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll announced by the league office Monday morning.

The defending NSIC Tournament Champion and NCAA Central Region Champion Beavers garnered 170 points in the poll including earning two first-place votes to finish third in the poll while defending NSIC Regular Season Champions Minnesota State University, Mankato finished first in the voting with 187 points. BSU trailed second-place Augustana University by seven points.

For the third consecutive season, Bemidji State has a defender selected as the NSIC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and fifth-year senior Halle Peterson was named the league’s top defender in the preseason for the first time in her career. The two-time All-NSIC First Team selection and All-Region selection was second on the Beavers playing in 2,220 minutes (96.1%) last season and helped the Beavers hold opponents to just 16 goals over 25 matches and tie for the second most shutouts in Division II (15).

Peterson joins Megan Dahl (2022, 2021) and Tia Neuharth (2019) as lone Beavers to be named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

Minnesota State’s Allie Williams joined Peterson as the NSIC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year after earning All-NSIC First Team honors last season.

In addition to Peterson, junior midfielder and All-NSIC Second Team selection Maria Stocke was selected as the Beavers’ Preseason Offensive Player to Watch after starting 24 of the team’s 25 matches and finished fourth on the team with 10 points off three goals and four assists and led all BSU midfielders with 1,704 minutes logged.

The Beavers are coming off the most successful season in program history after posting a 16-3-5 record winning the NSIC Tournament Championship and NCAA DII Central Region Tournament for the first times in program history. Bemidji State enters the 2023 season as the No. 9 ranked team in the United Soccer Coaches Pre-Season Top-25 Poll.

Bemidji State returns four starters from last season including Peterson and Stocke as well as fellow fifth-year senior Maggie Cade. The Beavers also return a total of 14 letterwinners including six who saw time in all 25 matches in 2022. Head coach Jim Stone also added 12 newcomers to the 2023 squad who look to make immediate impacts to the team.

Stone will enter his 22nd season as head coach of the Bemidji State Women’s Soccer program and is the winningest coach in program history and he and his staff of assistant coaches Mike Korman and Julian Licata are coming off back-to-back USC Central Region Staff of the Year honors.

Bemidji State kicks-off its 2023 season with non-conference action against Missouri Western State University and Rockhurst University in St. Joseph, Mo., Sept. 1 and 3 before beginning NSIC play Sept. 15.