Women’s soccer team nets first victory of the season
NAU women’s soccer logged their long-awaited first win of the season Sept.17, beating the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Eagles 3-1 at Lumberjack Stadium.
Lumberjack coach Andre Luciano had been expecting a win sooner in the season.
“It was bittersweet based on the wins we had last year,” Luciano said.
Embry-Riddle was first on the board with a goal 16:55 into the first half. The Eagles’ Riley Stevenson capitalized on a free kick from junior midfielder Marissa Golesh to give them the lead. However, the Lumberjacks were quick to fight back with a strike from senior forward Chelsea Bednarz. She scored her first goal of the season 19:03 into the game.
Bednarz turned a cross from freshman defender Mary Harrah into a goal. After the Lumberjacks scored, the Eagles were unable to get past the Jacks’ strong defense.
Senior midfielder Sam Monahan found the back of the net for her fourth time this season at 30:34 into the game. She scored off of a corner kick from senior forward Katie Tribbey.
“It feels pretty good,” Monahan said. “I’m trying to take advantage of my senior year and trying to win.”
Sophomore forward Elinor Priest scored her first career goal 35:55 into the first half.
“We’re happy and we’re going to enjoy this,” Monahan said. “It has been a rough start.”
In the first half, Eagles goalkeeper Ciarra Pederson made three saves. The Lumberjack keeper, sophomore Lauren Weaver, saved three shots. NAU made a total of 13 shots through the game and had seven corner kicks.
Neither team scored in the second half, and Weaver and Pedersen each had one save. The Eagles attempted three shots and had one corner kick, while the Lady Jacks attempted 10 shots and two corner kicks.
“You always play to win,” Luciano said. “We’ve always tried to work on finishing strong[ly],” said Luciano.
The Lumberjacks are far from celebrating at this point. Luciano says the team is still working hard in practice to ensure they continue to win this season.
“It’s about identifying some personal changes that we need to make this year,” Luciano said. “It’s a work in progress seeing who fits.”
The Lumberjacks travel to Texas this weekend where they will play TCU on Sept. 23. Then they move on to face Texas Tech on Sept. 25.
“We can only move forward from here,” Monahan said. “I think they know what it’s like to have a win now and hopefully it’s a step forwards not a step backwards.”