FORT WORTH, Texas – Senior Chelsea Bednarz's second goal in as many games and sophomore Lauren Weaver's eight saves helped the Northern Arizona soccer team claim a 1-1 double overtime tie with TCU, Friday night at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium. The tie was the Lumberjacks' third in four matches, and fifth overtime game this season, its most since 2007.
"I thought our team got back to its old self and regained our form," said head coach Andre Luciano. "We came on the road and played a very fast Texas Christian team and created chances. I finally felt like our team played like it's capable of. We're going to continue to grow with each other. As a team, we're back on a good path."
The game got off to a slow start with just one combined shot, an attempt by sophomore Elinor Priest that sailed high in the ninth minute, between the two teams in the first 25 minutes. Senior Jenna Samora then set up Bednarz for the game's first score in the 34th minute, heading the ball to Bednarz, who put it past the sliding TCU goalkeeper. Bednarz led the Lumberjacks with five shots and two on goal for the night.
After the Lumberjacks kept possession for the majority of the first half and took a 1-0 lead into halftime, the Horned Frogs turned the tables in the second half, continuously putting pressure on the NAU backline. TCU found the equalizer in the 53rd minute on senior Jordan Calhoun's fourth goal of the season.
Following numerous scoring chances by TCU the rest of the half, the Lumberjacks appeared to break the tie in the 88th minute off a free kick by senior Sam Monahan. Priest put in the ball by Monahan, but the Lumberjacks were whistled for offsides and the game was sent into extra periods where it ended in the eventual draw.
The Horned Frogs held the shot advantage at 25-12, outshooting the Lumberjacks in each period, but Weaver thwarted several TCU opportunities with critical saves. Weaver has now allowed just two goals in her last 402:12 minutes covering the last four games, making 26 saves in the process.
"Over the last four games, we haven't given up much," Luciano said. "In order to win, you need your goalkeeper to play big and Lauren has definitely stepped up in her role. I give our goalkeeper coach Brady Flummer credit for going out early in the morning and getting in extra work with her. It's really paid off for her."
The Lumberjacks, now at 1-6-3 this season, wrap up the weekend with a match in Lubbock, Texas against Texas Tech on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.