BEAVER SPORTS WEEKEND: Football, Women’s Soccer Reach Historic Heights In NCAA Tournaments

Bemidji State football and women’s soccer took home weekend NCAA tournament results that send both teams where none from BSU have ever gone before in their respective sports. Plus, weekend action for both hockey and basketball teams. BSU sports news and notes for Monday, Nov. 22: 

Football

Sam McGath’s 2-yard touchdown run early in the 4th quarter stood up as the game-winning score as #5 Bemidji State claimed a 28-24 victory at #4 Augustana on Saturday in the Beavers’ first-ever NCAA tournament game.

Quarterback Brandon Alt threw for 326 yards, three first-half touchdowns, and an interception in the victory, with Malik Williams hauling in two of the scores and Brendan Beaulieu catching the other as part of a 142-yard afternoon receiving. The Beavers led 21-10 at halftime before Augustana outscored them 14-0 in the third quarter to lead going into the final frame.

Two punts forced and a fourth-down pass breakup by Bemidji State’s defense preserved the lead and ensured the Beavers would set a new program record with their 10th victory of the season.

#5 BSU will now travel to face Super Region 4 #1-seed Colorado School of Mines on Saturday at 1pm in the NCAA Division II Football Championships second round.

Women’s Soccer

Bemidji State followed a 0-0 draw and subsequent penalty shootout victory over Central Oklahoma in the NCAA first round on Friday by advancing to its first-ever Central Regional final with a 1-0 victory against host Emporia State in the second round on Sunday in Emporia, KS.

Mariah Nguyen scored her first collegiate goal in the 34th minute, and Bemidji State’s defense made it stand up despite a slew of corners and long throw-ins during the second half. Alyssa Stumbaugh stopped all three shots on goal from Emporia State for the shutout.

The Beavers reached Sunday’s second round after surviving a windy goalless draw with Central Oklahoma on Friday that saw Stumbaugh make five saves during regulation and overtime. Erin Becker, Ally Smith, Sara Wendt, and Halle Peterson all converted on Bemidji State’s first four penalties in the shootout, while UCO made its first three before Stumbaugh made the first denial of the shootout in the fourth frame. That set up Emma Huelsnitz to score the winning spot kick for BSU to advance.

The Beavers (19-1-3) will play in their first-ever NCAA Central Regional final–and national third round game–on either Dec. 2 or 3 against Central Missouri in Allendale, MI on the campus of Grand Valley State.

Men’s Hockey

#20 BSU split a pair of 4-3 games with Michigan Tech at the Sanford Center this weekend, losing Friday night’s tilt before coming away with a victory on Saturday.

Eric Martin started the scoring in Friday’s series opener, but the Huskies replied with the game’s next three goals to lead 3-1 entering the third period. Owen and Lukas Sillinger each scored in the third period–and would each finish the game also tallying an assist–but their goals sandwiched a fourth from Tech that proved to be the game winner. Gavin Enright totaled 31 saves as the Beavers trailed 35-25 in shots for the game.

A strong second period on Saturday propelled Bemidji State to a bounce back victory in the series finale. Owen Sillinger put the Beavers ahead in the first before Michigan Tech jumped to a 2-1 lead early in the second. A power play goal by Ethan Somoza knotted the score before Ross Armour and Will Zmolek added tallies–the latter standing up as the game-winner after a goal in the third period by the Huskies.

Bemidji State (7-5-0, 6-2-0 CCHA) next travels to Arizona State for a pair of non-conference games this Wednesday and Friday.

Men’s Basketball

The Beavers followed up a 91-57 exhibition win against Minnesota Morris on Friday evening with a record-setting 110-61 rout of Northland on Saturday that featured a program-best day on field goal shooting.

BSU shot 44-61 (72.1%) from the field in the Saturday victory, setting a new record for best single-game field goal percentage. Travis Bianco nailed five three-pointers on his way to a 23-point performance, while Mohamed Kone was a crisp 9-10 from the field for 21 points while also distributing eight assists. Five different Beavers finished in double figures scoring.

Bemidji State (2-0) will open NSIC play tomorrow night with a trip to Minnesota Crookston for a 6pm game.

Women’s Basketball

The Bemidji State women also played an exhibition game at home this weekend, defeating Minnesota Morris 75-57 on Saturday afternoon.

The Beavers have opened the season 2-0 and will face the University of Sciences (PA) in the Southeastern Tournament on Friday at 4pm in Lakeland, FL.

Women’s Hockey

BSU dropped a pair of games to #7 Minnesota Duluth at the Sanford Center this weekend, losing the opener 9-0 on Friday while being outshot 50-20.

Saturday afternoon’s matchup ended in a 4-1 loss for the Beavers, despite Reece Hunt’s tying goal on the power play in the first period. Two second-period goals gave the Bulldogs the lead for good before they added an empty-net goal in the third.

Hannah Hogenson finished Saturday’s game with 35 saves on 38 shots faced.

BSU (2-8-2, 1-8-1 WCHA) will travel to Lindenwood for games on Friday and Saturday.