Beavers find more postseason magic, stun Augustana in extra time to advance


Nov. 6—BEMIDJI — For years, Kenzie Harer envisioned herself scoring a game-winning goal like the one she scored on Monday night. She said the real thing far outweighed the imagination.

“Everybody kind of pictures themselves scoring a goal like that,” continued Harer, a redshirt freshman for the Bemidji State women’s soccer team. “We played as such an amazing team tonight. We did exactly what we needed to do, and we kept pressing to find that goal. We found it, and it’s just amazing to feel this right now.”

Harer won a foot race to the ball in the 105th minute on the slick surface at Chet Anderson Stadium, getting her right leg on the ball to beat Augustana goalkeeper Julia Barkus for the game-winning goal with less than six minutes left on the clock.

It gave the Beavers a 2-1 win in extra time over the Vikings, effectively keeping their season alive and punching their ticket to the NSIC Tournament semifinal.

“The ball came from someone, and it was bouncing in the air,” Harer said. “It went through, and the goalkeeper and I had a little one-on-one moment there. I just tried to stick out any piece of my body that I could to get anything on the ball.

“I was crouched on the ground, looking up to make sure it didn’t hit the post. … That moment of looking up and seeing the net flare was very awesome. I enjoyed that quite a bit.”

That somebody who launched the through ball to Harer was senior Lauren Hodny, who scored the equalizer in the 87th minute on a ball from outside the 18-yard box. She made a move to shake a defender before booting a right-footed strike through the hands of Barkus to tie the game.

“Goal or no goal, she was lights out tonight,” BSU head coach Jim Stone said. “Her touch was tight. She was spinning kids. She was good off the dribble. Her energy and her defending was great. I told her it’s the best game I’ve seen her play. She’s a huge reason we got a result tonight.”

Augustana scored the game’s first goal in the 68th minute off the foot of Hope Korte, who launched a rocket from the same spot as Hodny. It was a goal that broke the ice after a pointed offensive attack from both teams.

BSU came inches from scoring a handful of times in the opening 26 minutes. Katrina Barthelt hit the right post and the crossbar to go with her two shots on target. Maggie Cade’s free-kick from the right of the 18-yard box was perfectly placed for Emma Huelsnitz, who headed a ball into the gut of Barkus.

Despite coming up empty in a collection of worthy scoring efforts, the Beavers’ confidence never faltered.

“Our team, we’re grinders,” Harer said. “Every single one of us will fight to the last minute. We don’t let that doubt get in the way of us doing that. It doesn’t matter if we win, tie or lose. We’re going to play until the end. That’s what you’re going to get with us.”

Bemidji State’s exemplified a complete team on Monday night. From the postseason newcomers like Harer, who had never competed in an NSIC Tournament game, to the veterans like Hodny, who leaned on their experience in the vital minutes to tie the game, the Beavers willed their way to a victory like the previous BSU teams before them.

“For us to be able to stay positive, not only after those near misses but after you’re down 1-0, that’s not easy to do,” Stone said. “To keep that positive mindset and positive body language with the belief that you’re going to get something out of it is impressive.

“I learned something about our group tonight. We’re a young team, and sometimes my head is kind of spinning trying to figure them out. But I think I learned something about them. They showed me that they want it.”

Junior goalkeeper Edie Frantzen didn’t play in a single game for Bemidji State in 2022. This year, she didn’t miss a start in 19 matches.

Part of last year’s graduating class were Alyssa Stumbaugh and Georgiana Harber, a pair of seasoned keepers that backstopped the Beavers to a history-making season. But with both of them gone, the net was Frantzen’s for the taking. And with BSU’s season on the line in its last two games, she put forth her best.

Frantzen made nine saves in Monday’s win over Augie. It came about six hours after she was named the NSIC Goalkeeper of the Week. She’s the first Bemidji State keeper to win the award since Stumbaugh on Nov. 1, 2021.

“It’s not just my award,” Frantzen said. “It’s the whole team’s award. I know I’m the Goalkeeper of the Week, but it’s the defense of the week with my defenders, as well as the rest of the 11 girls out there defending.”

As modest as Frantzen was about her honor, Harer was much more boisterous about the Beavers’ standout goalie.

“She is amazing. She’s just so amazing,” Harer said. “You talk about a spark on your team. She’s the one person that you hear as the loudest on the field. She is the spark for us. She’s always ready to go. She’s always supportive. That’s the way she plays because that’s who she is.”

Like Harer, Frantzen had never played in an NSIC Tournament game before Monday, or any collegiate postseason game for that matter. Before extra time, the typical pregame nerves were amplified.

“Before the game, I told them, ‘It’s do or die time,'” Frantzen said. “I’m always a little nervous, but more like nervous prepared. I’m always hungry and excited to play.”

“Your legs are numb. You have to work through it, and you have to look at the person next to you and decide to push forward for them and everyone else on the team.”

When the clock showed a collection of zeroes that pushed Bemidji State to the semifinal round, Frantzen did just that. She looked to three of the players next to her that needed the win a little more.

“It felt like a long time,” Frantzen said of watching the seconds leak of the clock. “But when it’s over, it feels great. You look at the seniors — (Madisanne Dahl), Cade and Halle (Peterson). We’d do anything for them. It feels really good to battle back, to get a win and keep our season alive for them.”

Bemidji State 2, Augustana (OT)

AU 0 1 0 — 1

BSU 0 1 1 — 2

Bemidji State — Hodny 87′; Harer 105′.

Augustana — Korte 68′.

Saves — Frantzen (BSU) 9; Barkus (AU) 6.



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