NAU woman’s soccer seniors ready for final weekend before tournament
By Raymond Reid
This weekend signifies the end of an era for NAU Lumberjacks women’s soccer, but could also signify a new beginning for the season.
“They are the first class to have come in and won three straight championships,” said head coach Andre Luciano, about this group of seniors he has coached over the last 4 seasons “They’re in a do or die mode this weekend.”
The Lumberjacks currently are in 6th place in the Big Sky Conference standings and with a good weekend, could vault themselves to first place, taking the regular season championship as well as finishing in the top four for the post season tournament.
This Sunday, October 23, the Lumberjacks soccer seniors will take the field together for the last regular season game of their careers at senior day against the Eastern Washington Eagles.
“They definitely bring a sense of unity,” said freshman forward Sarah Tarver, on the impact these seniors have had on her in her inaugural season with the Lumberjacks. “They did a very good job in bringing the freshman in and getting used to the program. Their impact has been huge. If we didn’t have all of these seniors it wouldn’t be the same.”
The Lumberjacks enter their last weekend of play with a record of 2–8–7 on the season and the Eagles are entering at 2–11–0. Before the Jacks meet the Eagles at Lumberjack Stadium, they will travel to Missoula and face the Montana Grizzlies who sit one spot ahead of the Jacks and sport a record of 5–9–2, making this match up pivotal in the push for a post season tournament bid.
“We’re still in it, that’s what I’m thinking about,” said senior midfielder Sam Monahan. “Just the win; yeah, my career is coming to an end, but I’m going to do whatever it takes to get those wins.”
There have been many rough times for the Lumberjacks this season but with one last hoorah, the senior class has the opportunity over the weekend to complete the proverbial cycle of championships as well as keep their season and careers alive.
“I love this group,” Luciano said. “They’ve gone through so much. I hope that we can end the season on a positive note and give this group a respected send off.”
This weekend will be as crucial as it will be memorable for the NAU women’s soccer program.