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Second Half Rally Falls Short, Women’s Soccer Falls to Idaho State, 4-2

POCATELLO, Idaho – Sophomore Jenna Samora and junior Kristi Andreassen scored second-half goals, but Idaho State built an early 3-0 lead en route to a 4-2 victory over Northern Arizona on Thursday afternoon in Pocatello. The Lumberjacks dropped to 6-7-1 overall and 1-2-0 in the Big Sky while Idaho State moved to 7-5-0 and 2-1-0 in conference play.

The Bengals got on the board quickly, as passes from junior Lauren Hough and sophomore Megan Stainbrook set up a try from 20 yards out. Freshman Ashley Jones capitalized on some open space to blast a shot past NAU goalkeeper Tori Rocke to give Idaho State a 1-0 lead.

Less than five minutes later, the Bengals added to their lead. A lead pass from senior Kacey Ball found senior Annamarie Hoffstetter 10 yards from the Lumberjack goal. The forward would net her team-leading fourth goal of the season to give the home team a two-goal advantage less than 22 minutes into the contest.

In the 35th minute, the Bengals would parlay a Northern Arizona defensive miscue into a third goal. Lumberjack junior Rebekah Schmidt tried to send a pass back to Rocke, but the feed was too soft and was picked up by Idaho State freshman Rachel Strawn for an easy goal and a 3-0 halftime lead.

The Lumberjacks battled back quickly in the second half, scoring a goal just two minutes and 37 seconds into the second frame. Samora found space after picking up a loose ball and blasted a shot past goalkeeper Bailey Williams from 18 yards out to bring the Lumberjacks back within two goals.

The visitors got even closer just four minutes later off a free kick. Andreassen took the long set piece and tucked the ball into the upper corner of the goal, recording her third tally of the season to make the score 3-2.

With nearly 40 minutes remaining in regulation the Lumberjacks had plenty of time to find the equalizer, but the Bengals would make the task more difficult with another goal of their own in the 65th minute. A corner kick from Hoffstetter found junior Karissa Henage-Fisher unmarked for a header into the NAU goal, and Idaho State would fend off the Lumberjacks the rest of the way to record a 4-2 victory.

Andreassen again led the Lumberjacks in shots despite playing defense, recording three tries for the game. Samora’s only shot of the game netted her team-leading fifth goal of the season, as NAU scored twice while putting only three total shots on goal. Rocke made four saves but equaled a season-high in allowing four goals, as the Lumberjacks were outshot 16-9 for the match. Hoffstetter’s late assist was the 23rd of her career, establishing a new Big Sky career record.

The Lumberjacks continue conference play at Weber State on Saturday at 10 a.m.

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