FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – A Lumberjack Stadium record crowd of
2,187 saw Sarah Neatherton and Lauren Zallis score late in the
first half as Northern Arizona played Arizona to a 2-2 draw. The
Lumberjacks moved to 1-1-1 while the Wildcats are now 0-1-1.
The tie was the first positive result for the Lumberjacks in six all-time meetings against Arizona, as the Wildcats were victorious in the previous five. The record crowd of 2,187 fans surpassed the previous attendance record of 2,011 set against Nevada on November 24, 2004.
The scoring got started in the 20th minute, when a foul on NAU junior Kristi Andreassen set up a direct free kick for Arizona from just above the 18-yard box. Wildcat junior Leila Amini took the set piece and drilled it into the Lumberjack wall, but the deflection went directly to senior Jasmine Namdar. The forward corralled the ball and sent it into the bottom left corner of the NAU goal to give Arizona the early lead.
Northern Arizona answered back in the 33rd minute, when a foul inside the Arizona box set up a penalty kick. Senior Sarah Neatherton took the pk, blasting a shot into the bottom left corner to even the score at 1-1.
The Lumberjacks would tack on a goal late in the half to take a 2-1 lead into the break. A deflection along the left side of the field sprung junior Carolyn Savage down the field unopposed. Her cross into the box was deflected and found sophomore Lauren Zallis, who’s initial shot was stopped by Arizona goalkeeper Devon Wharf. Zallis was able to grab the rebound, however, and her second try found its way into the right side of the goal. Zallis’ third goal of the young season enabled the home team to take a lead into halftime.
Several tries on both sides narrowly missed in the second half, but in the 73rd minute Arizona found a way to even the score. A collision led to a lose ball 25 yards away from the Lumberjack goal, and Amini was able to gain control. The junior fired a perfect shot into the right side of the NAU goal, beating the dive of keeper Natasha Slaughter and knotting the score at 2-2.
Both teams had minimal chances through the remainder of regulation and the contest was sent into overtime. Early in the first OT, Northern Arizona sophomore Jenna Samora was just able to stay onside on a long pass, leading to a breakaway. Wharf came out to challenge and Samora chipped a shot over the Wildcat netminder, but the try hit the crossbar and was cleared away by Arizona.
Just a minute later, Zallis took a free kick from 20 yards out that was deflected by the Arizona wall and trickled just wide.
The game pressed on into a second overtime, in which Arizona had the bulk of the scoring chances. The Wildcats would attempt four corner kicks in just a minute and a half midway through the second extra session, but Slaughter and her defenders were up to the task in not allowing a clean look. When a shot by NAU junior Tori Howe sailed wide with 10 seconds remaining, the game ended in a hard-fought 2-2 draw.
“I’m frustrated that we didn’t win the game, because we had opportunities in both halves and both overtimes to get the game, and we didn’t,” said head coach Andre Luciano. “I’m very proud of my team for playing a gritty, hard game against a good Pac-10 opponent.
“This was a great crowd, I hope it continues. I hope the student body continues to support this team because they are great players, student athletes, and representatives for this university. I want to thank all of the students and everyone else for coming out tonight.”
Slaughter made a career-high six saves while Wharf stopped three of five attempts. Samora paced the Lumberjacks with three shots while Amini, sophomore Renae Cuellar and sophomore Amy Steiner each had two attempts for the visitors. The Lumberjacks posted a 6-1 shot advantage in the first half while Arizona reversed the trend with a 7-1 second-half advantage. The match was extremely physical and emotional, with a combined 24 fouls and five yellow cards being issued during the contest.
The Lumberjacks head to Los Angeles tomorrow and will face Loyola Marymount on Sunday at 1 p.m. before returning home for a five-match homestand.
June 16, 2010 Soccer Camps Kickoff Next Week; Spots Still Available
April 23, 2010 Womens Soccer to End Spring Season with Alumni Game
April 20, 2010 Women's Soccer 2010 Summer Camp Information
April 12, 2010 Womens Soccer, NAU Alums Run Event with Special Olympics
April 7, 2010 Womens Soccer Holds Clinic with Local Youth Players
April 2, 2010 Women's Soccer Announces Six-Match Spring Schedule
February 8, 2010 Northern Arizona Students-Athletes Garner Record Cumulative GPA
February 3, 2010 Womens Soccer, Club Teams Take to Shoveling South Fields
February 1, 2010 12 Womens Soccer Players Named All-Academic Big Sky
November 18, 2009 Soccers Kristi Andreassen Named Academic All-American
November 12, 2009 Women's Soccer Battles No. 1 Stanford, Falls 2-0 in NCAA Tournament
November 11, 2009 Luciano Repeats as Big Sky Soccer Coach of the Year
November 10, 2009 Women's Soccer Returns to NCAA Tournament in Stanford
November 9, 2009 Womens Soccer Headed to Stanford to Open NCAA Tournament
November 7, 2009 Women's Soccer Big Sky Championship Blog - Updated Saturday
November 6, 2009 Womens Soccer Back in Big Sky Final After Shootout Win
November 3, 2009 Women's Soccer Looks to Defend Title at Big Sky Championship
November 3, 2009 Boies, Andreassen, Samora Headline All-Big Sky Soccer Selections
October 31, 2009 Update: Womens Soccer to Face Portland State in BSC Semifinal
October 31, 2009 Womens Soccer Nets Two Academic All-District Selections
October 30, 2009 Womens Soccer Falls at Northern Colorado but Clinches Tourney Birth
October 28, 2009 Women's Soccer to Close Regular Season at Northern Colorado
October 25, 2009 Womens Soccer Defeats Eastern Washington on Senior Day, 4-2
October 23, 2009 Late Rally Lifts Womens Soccer Over Montana in Overtime, 2-1
October 21, 2009 Women's Soccer to Close Home Schedule With Key Big Sky Matches
October 17, 2009 Womens Soccer Blasts Weber State, 3-0
October 13, 2009 Women's Soccer to Continue Big Sky Play at Idaho State, Weber State
October 13, 2009 Lumberjack Stadium to Get Total Makeover
October 12, 2009 October 23 Womens Soccer Game vs. Montana Moved to 3 P.M.
October 11, 2009 Samoras Late Goal Lifts Womens Soccer Past Portland State, 1-0
October 1, 2009 Rocke Returning to Form as Big Sky Season Commences
September 28, 2009 McGuire Earns Big Sky Soccer Co-Offensive Player of the Week Honors
September 27, 2009 Sun, Sun Devils Defeat Womens Soccer, 4-0
September 25, 2009 McGuire Leads Womens Soccer to 2-1 Upset of New Mexico
September 23, 2009 Tough Road Tests Await Womens Soccer This Week
September 18, 2009 Womens Soccer Superb Again in 4-0 Win Over Murray State
September 16, 2009 Women's Soccer to Host Murray State to End Long Homestand
September 12, 2009 Womens Soccer Dominates New Mexico State in 3-1 Victory
September 9, 2009 Womens Soccer Outlasts Pesky Embry-Riddle, 3-1
September 8, 2009 Women's Soccer to Continue Homestand with Embry-Riddle, New Mexico State
September 6, 2009 Iowa Overwhelms Womens Soccer to Close Mountain Classic, 4-1
September 4, 2009 Womens Soccer Blanked by Oakland, 1-0
September 2, 2009 Women's Soccer to Open Five-Match Homestand With Mountain Classic
August 30, 2009 Womens Soccer Silenced by Loyola Marymount, 3-0
August 28, 2009 Record Crowd Watches Womens Soccer Draw with Arizona, 2-2
August 25, 2009 Women's Soccer to Open Home Slate with Arizona, Travel to LMU
August 24, 2009 Zallis Named Big Sky Soccer Offensive Player of the Week
August 23, 2009 Zallis Leads Womens Soccer Past Southern Utah, 2-0
August 21, 2009 Womens Soccer Blanked by Utah State in Season Opener, 2-0
August 18, 2009 Women's Soccer Opens Season At Utah State, Southern Utah
August 12, 2009 Women's Soccer Picked Second in Big Sky Preseason Poll
August 10, 2009 Women's Soccer Preparing to Defend Big Sky Championship
August 8, 2009 Lumberjacks to Hold Open Scrimmage Saturday Night