Soccer visits Frisco, brings home tie, loss
By Raymond Reid
The Northern Arizona University (NAU) women’s soccer team ventured to the Bay Area for a weekend two-piece with the University of San Francisco and the University of California-Davis this past Friday and Sunday. NAU played San Francisco to a 1–1 tie and fell at the feet of UC-Davis 3–0.
“We had our highest high and our lowest low all in one weekend,” said freshman midfielder Demi Schmeider.
Making the climb to the top of the Big Sky Conference (BSC) will be a tough task this season for the Jacks, but they believe their run through the gantlet will help them thrive in conference.
To start the weekend, on Sept. 9, the Jacks squared off against the UC-Davis Aggies.
The Lumberjacks came out offensively motivated, posting their first game with multiple corner kicks: three to the Aggies’ one. The Jacks shot early and often, but the Aggies took over after that. Winning the shot battle 29–7, the Aggies scored in the 20th, 42nd and in the 73rd minutes off of a NAU handball in the box, going on to win 3–0.
“Even though we came out of it with a loss and a tie, we can take positives from this weekend,” said junior defender Shawnee Morgan. “It was a wake-up call.”
Junior Lauren Weaver got the start in goal and posted a season-high nine saves.
“We didn’t make the necessary transitions that we needed to make mentally,” said head coach Andre Luciano. “Part of that is our youth, not knowing how to transition from Friday to Sunday yet. Part of it is going through the rigors of a season. Five of our first seven games have been on the road.”
Friday against San Francisco, the Jacks began their weekend set.
Freshman forward Haley Wingender netted her second goal of the season, coming within a week of her first score.
Wingender scored in the 17th minute, only 21 seconds after the Dons notched the first goal of the game. The Jacks and the Dons shot nearly even amounts through the contest, with the Jacks losing the shot count 15–13.
Weaver posted five saves in the contest.
The Jacks played the Dons tough for the final 73 minutes of the game, and after 90 minutes, the two teams were stuck at one goal each, sending them into overtime.
After the overtime period, neither team scored and NAU posted its first tie of the 2012 season.
“We did extremely well against the University of San Francisco,” Luciano said. “It shows we’re getting better as a team offensively and defensively. That was a game we should have won, outshooting them 6–2 in overtime.”
The Jacks next competition will be the Hilton Garden Inn High Altitude Tournament featuring Florida Gulf Coast University and San Jose State University. NAU’s first game is against Florida Gulf Coast on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. and followed by San Jose State on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. Both games are at the Max Spilsbury Field at Lumberjack Stadium.
“It will be great to finally be back home in Flagstaff after two long weeks on the road,” Luciano said.