Soccer seniors wrap up careers against Cal State Bakersfield
By Domenique Pennacchio
The Northern Arizona University (NAU) women’s soccer team played its last game of the season at Lumberjack Stadium on Oct. 26.
Passion and an extra rush of adrenaline took over the Lumberjacks, as it was their last chance to play together as the 2012 season soccer family and battled until the end before losing in overtime, 3–2, against California State University-Bakerfield (CSUB).
“Yeah we lost, but we fought and that’s all I can ask [from] my teammates,” said team captain Georgia Foltz. “Coming back from being down 2–0 tonight? That’s huge. They could have tucked us away and we didn’t let them. We fought back and came back and coming back scoring two goals is not easy at all but we pushed and pushed and it finally paid off.”
Sophomore midfielder Savannah Berry said the team is ready to incorporate improvement for “more goals, more results and the conference tournament,” as they wait for next season.
Head coach Andre Luciano said he had no regrets through the season and was very pleased with the work the team accomplished.
“This team has never quit in any game this year,” Luciano said. “It’s a mark of their characters that they were down 2–0 and they came back. It almost seems that the end of the game was a perfect recap of our season.”
The Lumberjacks have to step up their game and fill the shoes of the three leaving seniors, Georgia Foltz, Laura Johnson and Jessica Kettelkamp. Without any doubts, Luciano said he believes next season will come with many opportunities for the team.
Foltz said she learned a lot, being involved with the NAU team for five years.
“[I learned about] family, passion, don’t ever give up and don’t ever be afraid to lean on the people you have next to you,” Foltz said.
Foltz also had advice for incoming team members and was straight to the point.
“Don’t be scared. Take it as a challenge and show respect,” Foltz said.
Being a young team, the Lumberjacks pushed to the end and learned what to improve for next year. Luciano discussed with the team that they will be working of several aspects, as a team and for players individually.
“The first thing is to try and get healthy. We have 26 players on the roster returning. Big things can be expected out of this team next year,” said Luciano. “We are going to spend a lot of time, in the beginning or the winter, working on our conditioning and getting stronger. I think that is one of the issues we had this year physically, because we were so young. The second focus is going to be on us learning how to play with each other. The season is tough because you only really have two days to train to prepare for the weekend.”
The Lumberjacks will be working on “showing emotion by wanting to get the ball and looking at the score board,” Luciano added.
As each individual Lumberjack takes away something different from their playing experience this year, there is a lot they are all in agreement with: they always fight and are overall pleasers.
Luciano was most proud of the team’s resilience on Oct. 26.
“They fought really hard and they wanted to win,” Luciano said. “They are unbelievable in terms of their chemistry, character. I love these players, I really do.”