CHS defender going D-II

Ogden: Nursing program made Bemidji an easy choice


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Grace Ogden is Bemidji bound.

Ogden, a senior defender who will finish her Chugiak soccer career this spring, signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Division II Bemidji State during a ceremony held Feb. 6 in the CHS library.

“It just kinda worked out,” said Ogden, who plans to study nursing at the school, which is located in northern Minnesota.

Although she’s been playing soccer most of her life, Ogden said the school’s competitive nursing program was actually a bigger factor in her decision.

“I wanted a school first and then soccer,” she said.

Ogden and her mother, Kelly — who works as a nurse at Providence Hospital in Anchorage — visited Bemidji during a soccer camp over the summer. That’s where Grace caught the attention of Beavers coach Jim Stone by winning the camp’s defensive MVP award.

In a press release touting the signing, Stone said he was impressed with Ogden’s heady style of play.

“She is a player with good touch,” Stone said. “She can play in the back or midfield. She is a pretty intelligent player that is good on the ball and is a good passer.”

Paul Brehmer is Ogden’s coach at both Chugiak High and with her club team, the Chugiak Soccer Club Cyclones. Brehmer attended the signing ceremony, and said he thinks Ogden will have no trouble making the jump to the college ranks.

“She’s very consistent,” Brehmer said. “Just a solid, consistent defender.”

Alaska players like Ogden spend much of their time indoors, and Kelly Ogden credited the local club soccer program with helping her daughter develop.

“Club soccer was a really big deal for her,” she said.

She said her daughter fell in love with Bemidji during their visit to the school’s campus.

“It was just a great fit for her,” she said.

Grace said she knew from the moment she arrived in Bemidji that the school was right for her.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” she said. “I can’t wait.”

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