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September 6, 2009

Iowa Overwhelms Women’s Soccer to Close Mountain Classic, 4-1

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Junior Kristi Andreassen scored her first goal of the season for Northern Arizona, but the Lumberjacks allowed a season-high four goals in a 4-1 loss to Iowa. The game was the final match of the NAU Mountain Classic, with New Mexico topping Oakland, 2-0, earlier Sunday. NAU dropped its third-straight contest to fall to 1-4-1 while Iowa improved to 3-2-0.

The match was delayed 30 minutes in the second half due to thunderstorms and lightning, and was played under intermittent rain throughout the contest.

The Lumberjacks had a great chance for the first goal of the game in the 14th minute, as Andreassen sent a free kick ahead to sophomore Lauren Zallis. NAU’s leading goal scorer settled the ball in stride and had a clear path to the net, but her shot was high and skipped over the crossbar.

Iowa would make the most of its first good scoring chance, capitalizing in the 20th minute. Sophomore Morgan Showalter corralled a ball inside the NAU box and fed it along the left side past the Lumberjack defense to teammate Sarah Langlas, who chipped the ball over goalkeeper Tori Rocke to give the Hawkeyes the lead.

Northern Arizona would answer back in the 40th minute. Sophomore Noel Guevara, playing in her first game all season, lofted a corner kick into the Iowa box and found the 5-11 Andreassen, who’s header beat Iowa goalkeeper Emily Moran to tie the score at 1-1.

Unfortunately for the Lumberjacks, Iowa would regain the lead less than five minutes later. Hawkeye senior Jackie Kaeding took a corner kick and found the head of senior Kim White, who redirected the ball into the NAU goal to put Iowa back on top in the final minute of the first half.

Just two minutes and one second into the second half, the Hawkeyes struck again. A corner kick from senior Alex Seydel was put on goal by sophomore Alyssa Cosnek, striking the left post. The ball bounced directly to junior Kelli McLaughlin for the rebound as the visitors extended their lead.

Following the half-hour thunderstorm delay, Northern Arizona went on the offensive attack, but couldn’t find the back of the net despite several quality scoring chances. Instead, it was Iowa that would score again in the 89th minute. With NAU committing eight players on offense in search of the equalizers, Cosnek was able to find space atop the NAU box on the counterattack. She would chip a pass ahead to McLaughlin, who beat Rocke from eight yards out to put an end to a disappointing day and weekend for the home team.

Northern Arizona was out-shot 16-11 and put just three shots on goal compared to seven tries on net from Iowa. Rocke made three saves but allowed four goals, the most NAU has given up since their loss to Portland in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Andreassen led the team with four shots, putting two on goal in addition to a strong defensive game. McLaughlin paced the Hawkeyes with five shots in scoring her initial two goals of the season and was one of 11 Iowa players to record at least one shot.

In addition to Guevara playing her first game of the season, redshirt sophomore Kathryn Wertz saw her first-career action for the Lumberjacks, starting at defense and playing all 90 minutes. Sunday’s game also included the first-career start for freshman Laura Johnson and the first start since 2007 for junior Anna Clark.

The Lumberjacks will look to break their three game losing streak on Wednesday, hosting NAIA school Embry-Riddle at 7 p.m. at Lumberjack Stadium. The Lumberjacks beat the Eagles, 9-1, last season in Prescott.