Katrina Barthelt gears up for 2nd summer with USL W's Chicago Dutch Lions FC

Apr. 19—Katrina Barthelt solidified herself as the Bemidji State women's soccer team's next elite scorer, and it's opening doors for her outside of the NSIC.

Barthelt, a native of Bartlett, Ill., is returning to her home state this summer to play for the Chicago Dutch Lions Football Club — a pre-professional team in the USL W. Barthelt played for the Dutch Lions last summer after her freshman year at BSU.

"I'm excited to go back home," Barthelt said. "I think I gained so much playing (in Chicago) last year. Those girls helped me grow a lot this past fall. The experience made me a better player. It made me improve in a lot of areas I didn't know I needed to improve in. The talent those girls have that I get to play with in the summer is really high."

Barthlet's collegiate career turned a corner during her sophomore season. She was named to the All-NSIC Section Team and was named NSIC Tournament MVP. Following the Beavers' Central Region Tournament run, she was named to the D2CCA All-Region Second Team and United Soccer Coaches All-Region Third Team.

Barthelt was one of the NSIC's most prolific scorers last fall. She finished with 12 goals and two assists, including six game-winning goals.

Capitalizing on her scoring chances is just one of the things she hopes to improve this summer in Chicago.

"I'm always trying to get better at finishing," Barthelt said. "That's the goal as a forward. I want to score as much as possible for my teammates. Movement off the ball is always big, working on those runs and connecting with the midfield. Honestly, I just want to develop as a whole."

Bemidji State head coach Jim Stone said the Beavers' coaching staff is typically hands-off in the summer, leaving the players to find individual outlets to develop.

"Those summer experiences are important, just like our offseason experience," Stone said. "There's a lot of autonomy within the players where they have to be disciplined and learn some self-motivation. Any time you get an opportunity play for a high-level team, maybe get a different culture and hear some different coaching viewpoints, those can only aid you in your growth as a player."

Stone also noted that it's important for players to get experience outside of BSU with the intention of bringing tools back for their push to win NSIC and Central Region titles.

"The way I look at it is for any experience, you can get one or two nuggets out of it," Stone said. "If you take too much, you can kind of confuse it with your current team. If she's mature enough to take one or two golden nuggets from an experience like that and bring it into our setting, that's wonderful."

Barthelt played in eight games for Chicago last summer. She started four of them and scored two goals in 377 minutes played. Barthelt said she feels more confident heading into this summer, having gone through it once before.

"Last year, going into a new environment, you're always going to be nervous," she said. "I feel very confident being able to bring my talents into a team and working with the other talented girls in the summer. It's definitely easier going into it for a second time knowing what to expect."