Lumberjacks soccer drops final game of season
By Tatum Rochin
The Northern Arizona University (NAU) Lumberjacks wrapped up their season with a 3–2 loss against the California State University-Bakersfield Roadrunners this past Friday night, but did not go without a fight.
After the first half, the Lumberjacks led in shots 11–3, but were unable to consolidate on any of those chances.
By the 48th minute of the game, Emily Noethe of Roadrunners had scored two goals, one with the assist of Taylor Jordan. However, the Lumberjacks were able to rally back and score two goals in the second half to tie the game.
“I’ve said this all season long, this team never has quit,” said head coach Andre Luciano “It’s a mark of their character. They were down 2–0 and came back to 2–2.”
The first goal was assisted by sophomore midfielder Savannah Berry and put away by sophomore defender Shawnee Morgan. The goal was NAU’s first score at home since playing Southern Utah University on Sept.1. Berry also scored the goal that tied the game, giving the Lumberjacks a chance in overtime.
“The assist was better than the goal,” said Berry. “Seeing [Morgan] score really made me happy.”
For the rest of the second half, NAU again outshot CSUB 7–6, but was unable to tally the winning point.
At the start of overtime, Berry had two attempts at the goal, but both were blocked by Roadrunner Tori Ornela.
In the fourth minute of overtime, Chloe Varvell from CSUB was able to impressively clear the ball past junior goalie Lauren Weaver and into the upper-left corner of the net, sealing the win for the Roadrunners.
This game was not only the end of a season, but the closing of a few collegiate careers as well. Georgia Foltz, Laura Johnson and Jessica Kettlekamp were the three players honored for the Senior Night match.
Foltz, normally a defensive player, played midfield for the game. Although this was a challenge, she played the position well and had a couple of opportunities to put NAU on the scoreboard. Bakersfield’s keeper was too quick, however, and was able to block two of Foltz’s shots.
Although she was unable to come out ahead in her last collegiate game, Foltz was very proud of her team’s performance.
“Coming back from being down 2–0 was huge,” Foltz said. “They could’ve tucked us away and we didn’t let them. We fought and we came back.”
Foltz is also excited for next year’s season. Although she will not be running on the field, she will play her part by supporting her former team from the sidelines. Foltz also had some advice to any incoming freshmen next year.
“Don’t be afraid to lean on the people you have next to you,” Foltz said. “Don’t be scared. Take it as a challenge and just show respect.”
After the game, Luciano touched on a few areas that he was going to try and improve for next year’s team. Some of these focus points were strength, conditioning and teamwork.
“That was one of our issues we had this year; we weren’t very strong,” Luciano said. “The second focus is going to be on us learning how to play with each other.”
Although this team has room for growth, one of the key strengths Luciano pointed out is his team has plenty of is character.
“They’re unbelievable in terms of their chemistry [and] their character,” Luciano said. “They always fight, they don’t cause any problems [and] they’re pleasers. They’re good human beings.”
Lastly, Luciano mentioned the focus for next year is health.
“I think the first thing is to just try and get healthy,” said Luciano. “Big things can be expected out of this team next year.”