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September 4, 2011

Johnson Scores First Career Goal in 8-1 Loss to Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Northern Arizona soccer team was able to withstand a flurry of Nebraska shots in the first half, but was unable to do the same following halftime, allowing six second half goals in an 8-1 loss to the Cornhuskers Sunday morning at Nebraska Soccer Field. The eight total goals allowed were the most goals given up by the Lumberjacks in school history. NAU dropped to 0-6-0 on the season.

"It is my responsibility as their coach to turn this around," said head coach Andre Luciano. "We can't look at the past and feel sorry for the amount of seniors that we have lost to graduation, or feel bad about the injuries we have suffered so far this season. We have to look at this as an opportunity for players to grow on the field. It's my responsibility to turn this weekend around into two wins and it's the players' responsibility to respond at training."

Junior Laura Johnson connected on her first career goal in the 87th minute from 20 yards out into the back corner of the net to prevent the Cornhusker shutout. Senior Ashley Marrapode received her first assist of the season on the play.

The Cornhuskers put sophomore Lauren Weaver to the test early in the game, and Weaver responded with three saves in as many minutes. After the teams traded scoring attempts, Nebraska junior Morgan Marlborough broke through with her first of three goals on the day in the 24th minute to give her team a 1-0 lead.

Marlborough tacked on her second goal in the 26th minute as the Cornhuskers took only a 2-0 lead into halftime despite outshooting the Lumberjacks by a 15-3 margin. Weaver made five first half saves to prevent further scoring.

But the Lumberjacks could not keep the game close in the second half, allowing two separate Nebraska scoring runs of three goals, before Johnson's score late in the period.

Marlborough led eight different Cornhuskers who recorded a point with six (three goals). For the game, Nebraska held a 30-6 shot advantage and a 9-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Six different Lumberjacks recorded a shot with seniors Chelsea Bednarz, Sam Monahan, Katie Tribbey, sophomore Shawnee Morgan, freshman Sarah Tarver and Johnson each tallying a shot. Weaver equaled her season-high set on Friday with seven saves on Sunday and senior Kendra Teesdale made her first career appearance in goal with one save in relief.

The Lumberjacks return home to host the Hilton Garden Inn High Altitude Tournament starting Friday. Lamar and Evansville will play a neutral site game at 4 p.m. and NAU will face Ball State in the nightcap at 7 p.m.