Big Sky Conference schedule complete following loss to Montana
By Chris Albas-Martin
The Northern Arizona University (NAU) soccer team fell 1–0 against the University of Montana Grizzlies on the final day of the Big Sky Conference season.
The result pushed NAU’s final conference record to 3–3–3 and they fell to 5–8–5 overall before the final game of the season against California State University-Bakersfield.
“I think the thing that is most disappointing is ending the conference season the way we did,” Luciano said. “We just could not overcome injuries. We are just too young and too beat up right now to be effective.”
The Jacks were undone by a goal in the eighth minute, courtesy of Mary Markis. Mackenzie Akins played the ball into Markins and her shot sailed over Weaver into the net. The Grizzlies continued to apply the pressure through the first half, but the Jacks’ defense stood firm the take the score to 1–0 at half time.
Montana came out of the blocks quickest in the second half as junior goalkeeper Lauren Weaver had to be alert to keep out an Erin Craig effort early on. NAU’s best chance to get on the board came in the 53rd minute, when Shawnee Morgan’s shot hit the side netting. The shot was as good as it got for the Jacks until the 72nd minute when sophomore midfielder Emily Roth’s long range attempt flew over the bar.
“We have a lot of heart and fight,” Weaver said. “I hope that next season we come out and prove ourselves.”
The Jacks finish off their season with a non-conference home game against CSU Bakersfield at the Lumberjack Stadium on Oct.26.
“When you only score three goals at home, that is a problem,” Luciano said. “That has been our problem all season.”