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Women’s Soccer Defeats Eastern Washington on Senior Day, 4-2

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona scored three goals in less than eight minutes late in the first half and early in the second half to erase a 2-1 deficit and defeat conference-leading Eastern Washington, 4-2, on senior day at Lumberjack Stadium. The Lumberjacks won their third-straight game to improve to 9-7-1 overall and 4-2-0 in the Big Sky, moving ahead of Eastern Washington in the standings after the Eagles dropped to 6-8-2 on the season and 3-2-1 in conference.

Northern Arizona now stands in second place in the Big Sky with 12 points. The Lumberjacks trail Portland State, which improved to 4-1-1 after defeating Weber State, 2-0, on Sunday and now have 13 points. Eastern Washington and Sacramento State are tied for third place with 10 points apiece. Each Big Sky team has just one remaining regular-season conference game to be played next week. The top-four teams in the final standings play in the Big Sky tournament with the regular-season champion serving as host.

All six goals in Sunday’s game were scored in a span of just 17 minutes and 40 seconds, beginning with the Eagles taking the lead in the 30th minute. A loose ball on top of the NAU box was picked up by Eastern Washington junior Brittany Sparks, who chipped the ball over attacking Lumberjack goalkeeper Tori Rocke and moved on to an empty net. Sparks would easily net her conference-leading 11th goal of the season to give Eastern Washington a 1-0 lead.

Northern Arizona would answer back less than four minutes later, as junior Brenna Boies sent a cross along the end line into the EWU box. Sophomore Ashley Marrapode slid in front of the Eagle goal and deflected the ball past goalkeeper Lisa Dimak to quickly even the score.

Less than four minutes later, the Eagles regained the lead. A throw in by junior Lacey Schreiner set up freshman Lauren Jacobson to the left of the Lumberjack box, and after dribbling around an NAU defender Jacobson would loft a shot over a leaping Rocke to put the Eagles back on top.

Less than two minutes past before the Lumberjacks would again even the score. A feed from sophomore Jenna Samora hit a number of bodies in front of the Eagles goal, eventually deflecting off junior Carolyn Savage and rolling toward the goal line. Boies emerged from the scrum to touch the ball just over the goal line for her first goal of the season and a 2-2 score.

The Lumberjacks would gain their first lead of the game just five minutes later on a failed clearance by the Eagles. The loose ball was picked up in front of the Eastern Washington goal by junior Kirsti Andreassen, who used her left foot to blast a shot past Dimak into the left side to give NAU a 3-2 halftime lead.

The Lumberjacks would pad their advantage just two minutes and six seconds into the second half. A long lead pass from junior Sam Monahan found Savage at the top of the box, and the Lumberjack junior tallied her first goal of the season on a shot to the bottom left corner.

With a two-goal lead the Lumberjacks stayed back defensively and were able to protect the advantage the rest of the way for a 4-2 victory.

A frustrated Eastern Washington squad was whistled for four yellow cards, nine fouls and was called offsides 13 times in the contest. The Lumberjacks held a 23-7 shot advantage for the game and an 11-5 edge in shots on goal, led by Andreassen’s five shots and four tries on net. Rocke made two saves, while senior Penny Short made one save in playing the final 11 minutes in her last home game. Dimak stopped five shots before being pulled in the 53rd minute in favor of freshman Jamie Walker, who made two saves to close the game.

Seniors Sarah Neatherton and Gianara Campasano also saw action after being honored along with Short and injured seniors Sarah Vallen and Kara Vitacca prior to kickoff.

The Lumberjacks close the regular season next Friday at Northern Colorado at 6 p.m.

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