FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – With the 2013 Northern Arizona soccer season just under a month away, fans will have the opportunity to catch a sneak peek of this season's Lumberjack squad take the field on Aug. 10. Head coach Andre Luciano's squad will take part in an intrasquad game at Lumberjack Stadium at 7:30 p.m. which will be the nightcap of a soccer doubleheader that day with the Yavapai College men's team holding its own split squad game at 5 p.m. Both games are free for all fans to attend.
"The most important thing for us is to immediately put us in a situation to get into a game rhythm," Luciano said. "For anyone that will be at the game, this will give them an immediate opportunity to see what the 2013 NAU Lumberjack soccer team will look like."
The Lumberjacks return 10 of 11 starters and 18 total letterwinners from their 2012 team which finished just outside the top-four qualifying teams for the Big Sky Championship tournament. Leading the returning Lumberjacks is senior goalkeeper Lauren Weaver, who garnered her second all-conference selection last season after finishing among the top-five in the Big Sky in all goalkeeping statistics. Weaver enters her final season fourth all-time in the NAU record books with 226 saves and a 1.378 goals against average. She is also tied for fourth with 11 career shutouts. Also returning this season are junior midfielder Emily Roth and sophomore forward Demi Schmieder, both of whom were All-Big Sky Honorable Mention selections in 2012.
The intrasquad game will also provide fans with their first look at the team's 15 newcomers who will be donning the NAU blue and gold for the first time. Among the team's newest Lumberjacks include Flagstaff High School products Meg O'Brien and Mattie Wojcik.
Leading up to the Lumberjacks' 2013 debut, Lumberjack Stadium will play host to Yavapai College's men's team, the country's premier men's NJCAA soccer program. Yavapai College, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013, has totaled 69 total championships including seven national championships and conference titles in all but one year in its first 24 seasons to go along with 17 national top-four finishes. The Roughriders men's program has a staggering .910 win percentage in its history and is coming off a 21-3-0 season in 2012. All told, Yavapai has 19 20-win seasons, easily the most of any NJCAA men's program since its inaugural season in 1989.
Yavapai College, located in Prescott, Ariz., has led the country in home attendance in each of its first 24 years and has produced three FIFA World Cup and eight Major League Soccer participants including current U.S. National Team member Alan Gordon. Eighteen of their former players have gone on to be inducted in the NJCAA Hall of Fame including Luciano, who was a member of Yavapai's first team in 1989 and first national champion team in 1990.
"For me as an alum, to have them here in Flagstaff my thought process was to provide a full day of soccer for the locals," Luciano said. "They're the best men's program in the state of Arizona and one of the top men's programs in the West region at all levels. It gives everyone the opportunity to see both quality men's and women's soccer."
The Lumberjacks officially kickoff their 2013 season on Aug. 23 at Long Beach State before returning home two days later to host Lamar on Aug. 25 at 12 p.m. at Lumberjack Stadium in its first of 10 home dates in 2013.
Season tickets in both the Reserved and General Admission seating areas are on sale now. Ticket information can be found below including information for the 2013-14 NAU Sports Pass. To purchase season tickets for the 2013 Lumberjack soccer season as well as a 2013-14 NAU Sports Pass, click here.