FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona scored three goals in the opening 22 minutes of the game and allowed only four total shots on goal in a 3-0 victory over Southern Utah on Saturday afternoon. The Lumberjacks recorded their second shutout in as many days to improve to 3-3-2 while Southern Utah dropped to 2-3-1.
"I was extremely happy with the energy that our starters brought us," said head coach Andre Luciano after shuffling his starting 11 while playing on consecutive days. "We got to play a lot of players today and they all gave us great energy. I thought it was just a solid performance and we closed out the game when we needed to."
The scoring began in the seventh minute, as the Lumberjacks converted off a corner kick. Senior Corie McGuire took the corner, which was the third that the Lumberjacks would take in less than two minutes, and found senior Kristi Andreassen for a header into the Southern Utah goal. Andreassen's team-leading fifth goal of the season, the fourth of which has come off a header, gave NAU an early 1-0 lead.
Less than five minutes later, a Thunderbird foul inside their box gave NAU a chance to double its lead on a penalty kick. McGuire would take the PK, burying a shot into the bottom-left corner of the goal to extend the Lumberjack lead to 2-0.
NAU would keep its foot on the accelerator and add another goal in the 22nd minute, again off a corner kick. Senior Brenna Boies, who broke the school record for career assists with her 19th on Friday, would add one more to her total as her feed found junior Chelsea Bednarz for a header past Southern Utah goalkeeper Charly Booth and a 3-0 Lumberjack lead.
After ending the first half with a 16-2 shot advantage, the Lumberjacks scaled back their offensive attack a bit in the second half to protect their lead. NAU came close to extending its advantage several times if not for multiple superb stops by Booth, while NAU junior goalkeeper Tori Rocke made a few nice stops as well to ensure a scoreless second half and a 3-0 NAU victory.
NAU set season highs in shots (23), shots on goal (14) and corner kicks (10) in the contest. Rocke finished with four saves to record her 12th career solo shutout, moving her to second in program history. Booth made 11 saves to keep her team close despite a 23-13 NAU shot advantage for the game. Junior Jenna Samora led the Lumberjack attack with six shots while Southern Utah junior Riley Bassett led her team with five shots.
Southern Utah and Air Force, which fell to NAU, 1-0, on Friday, will play a neutral-site game at Lumberjack Stadium tomorrow at noon.
The Lumberjacks will remain at home for a single game next weekend, hosting Loyola Marymount next Sunday, September 26, at 1 p.m.