FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The two-time defending Big Sky Champion Northern Arizona women's soccer team opened practice on Friday in preparation for their exhibition game at Embry-Riddle on Saturday and their regular season opener hosting Arizona State on Friday, August 20. The Lumberjacks return 10 of 11 starters and 17 letterwinners from their 2009 roster while adding 10 newcomers in anticipation of a third-straight Big Sky title.
"We're extremely excited to have our 2010 campaign begin," head coach Andre Luciano said. "I feel that with the number of returning players we have and the incoming freshmen joining our program we have a fantastic potential to do some good things again this season."
The Lumberjacks are scheduled to hold multiple training sessions every day until the beginning of school at the end of August as the newcomers and returners become integrated in Luciano's system. On Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m., the team will hold an open practice at Lumberjack Stadium featuring an intersquad exhibition scrimmage. All fans are encouraged to attend with free admission and parking at the NAU bookstore to catch a first glimpse of the 2010 women's soccer squad in action. All regular season home games will continue to be held at Lumberjack Stadium despite ongoing construction on the new health and learning center.
After playing at Embry-Riddle in an exhibition match on Saturday at 5 p.m., the team will open its regular season at home on Friday, August 20, with a 4 p.m. match against Pac-10 power and 2009 NCAA Tournament participant Arizona State. Admission and parking for all-nine regular season NAU home games at Lumberjack Stadium will be free in 2010.