FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women's soccer team faced Colorado State for the first time in school history and with a late goal in the second half from sophomore Haley Wingender, the Lumberjacks were able to force a 1-1 tie against the Rams.
Having had on off day on Friday, the Rams applied heavy pressure against the Lumberjacks defense early in the first half and were able to score their second goal of the season in the 19th minute by Amy Eckert.
With senior goalkeeper Lauren Weaver sidelined due to injury, NAU freshman goalkeeper Samantha DeMarco stepped up big allowing only one goal in 100 minutes of play. DeMarco had four saves on the day and was able to fill in for Weaver and play at a high level.
"I give Samantha an A for her performance today," said head coach Andre Luciano. "The goal was a miscommunication that was not her fault and she played composed like that of an upperclassman."
The Lumberjacks trailed for only the second time this season, and again they responded in the 82nd minute with a goal from Wingender. Wingender is the only player this year for Northern Arizona to have multiple goals on the season.
"It was coming down to the end of the game and there was no way I was going to let us lose," said Wingender. "Sarah (Tarver) made a great pass and I was able to put it in the back of the net."
Tarver, a junior defender, finished the weekend with a goal and an assist, giving her three points on the season.
After a slow start in the first half, the Lumberjacks were able to create more opportunities with a season high 19 shots. Northern Arizona showed great determination to remain undefeated at home this season.
"It takes a lot of energy to score a goal," said Luciano. "We showed a lot of resilience to keep pushing and scoring in the 82nd minute of the game. It shows the character of this team."
With the tie, the Lumberjacks remain undefeated with just two non-conference games left before Big Sky play.
"The key for us is to stay focused and not be satisfied just because we are undefeated," said Wingender. "We need to get more wins rather than ties and we have realized that we cannot lose at home."
The Lumberjacks will stay in Flagstaff this week as they welcome UTEP and Hawaii to town to finish their non-conference season before beginning their Big Sky schedule. Friday's game against UTEP is at 7 p.m. at Lumberjack Stadium will be presented by the NAU Army ROTC.