Soccer drops Big Sky opener
By Raymond Reid
The NAU women’s soccer team ventured to Colorado, looking for their second win of the season, in games against Big Sky Conference (BSC) foe Northern Colorado and non-conference opponent Air Force.
Entering the weekend no team in the BSC had a winning record, in addition to being 0-0 in conference play. Although the trip didn’t go the way of the Lumberjacks, the ladies lost one game and played to a draw in the second, there was still much to look forward to from NAU in BSC play.
Adversity has been something the Lumberjacks have faced early and often, but it hasn’t been something that has derailed this young team during the season.
“I’m very impressed, we’ve faced a lot of adversity this season,” said senior forward Jenna Samora. “We’ve done a good job of overcoming it and I think we’re beginning to put it all together.”
NAU traveled to Colorado Springs to face Air Force Academy on Oct. 2. The Lumberjacks played the Falcons into double overtime, with the game ending at a 0-0 stalemate. The Jacks outshot the Falcons 14–9, but could not get any shots into the net. Sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Weaver played the entire game for NAU, recording six saves.
“I think we played really well, luck just wasn’t really on our side,” said sophomore defender Alana D’Onofrio. “We dominated both teams, Northern Colorado capitalized on their opportunities and we’re really just unlucky, but we are definitely showing that we’re improving and playing really good.”
NAU opened Big Sky play with a match against Northern Colorado on Sept. 30. The Jacks fell to the Bears 2–0, but played a much closer game than the final score dictates. The Bears edged the Lumberjacks in shot attempts 16-14. Samora led the team with four attempts at the net, followed by senior forward Chelsea Bednarz with three.
The shots were coming from both sides but none had reached the back of the net, when in the 26th minute Northern Colorado’s junior Alexsys Tamayo broke the stalemate and recorded the first goal of the match. That goal was followed up 32 minutes later in the 58th minute by Northern Colorado’s sophomore Brittany Dunn.
“I think our senior leadership has been very good this year, all things considered,” said women’s soccer head coach Andre Luciano. “It’s been a frustrating season and it’s a new experience for them; they’ve been used to winning the last few years and they’re not sure how to handle it at times, but they stay positive and focused and keep that mentality towards winning these last five games and making it to the Big Sky Conference tournament.”