FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Seniors Chelsea Bednarz and Sam Monahan and sophomore Elinor Priest each scored first half goals for the Northern Arizona soccer team as the Lumberjacks claimed its first victory of the season over Embry-Riddle, 3-1 Saturday night at Lumberjack Stadium. The three NAU goals were a season-high for the Lumberjacks as they improve to 1-6-2 on the season.
"It's always good to get the first win of the season," said head coach Andre Luciano. "The three goals we scored were quality goals. I'll take a win anytime."
Embry-Riddle jumped ahead of the Lumberjacks, scoring the game's first goal in the 17th minute. Junior Marissa Golesh's free kick was initially saved by sophomore Lauren Weaver, but the rebound fell to freshman Riley Stevenson, who put it past Weaver in front of the net.
The Lumberjacks quickly found the equalizer less than three minutes later in the 20th minute, when Bednarz headed in her first goal of the season off a cross by freshman Mary Harrah. The game would remain knotted at 1-1 until Monahan netted her fourth goal of the season in the 31st minute. On the play, senior Katie Tribbey's corner kick was deflected by the Eagle defense to Monahan, who struck it to the left side of the net.
Priest tacked on her first career goal in the 36th minute off a corner kick by Monahan.
The Lumberjacks were able to preserve its 3-1 halftime lead during a scoreless second half to defeat the Eagles in front of a season-high home crowd of 732.
"We finished our opportunities in front of goal, so we're happy about that," Monahan said. "We still have a lot of work to do with our possession and we need to do a better job of finding our rhythm. But we won so we're happy."
NAU held Embry-Riddle to just seven shots in the game, as the majority of the game was played on the Lumberjacks' half of the field. The Lumberjacks held the shot advantage at 23-7, including 13-4 in the decisive first 45 minutes, and a 9-1 edge in corner kicks. Bednarz recorded a team high four shots and Harrah, senior Jenna Samora and sophomore Jordan Stenger each took three shots. Weaver made four saves in goal to continue her recent string of strong games.
The win wrapped up the Lumberjacks' season long three game homestand and now head on the road for four consecutive road matches over the next two weeks. Next week, NAU makes two stops in the state of Texas with games against TCU and Texas Tech.
"We have a big road trip against Texas Christian and Texas Tech and we know we can improve on some little things," Luciano said. "We just have to continue to get better every game and minimize our mistakes."