Soccer Wraps Up Regular Season With 2-0 Win over EWU
CHENEY, Wash. – The Northern Arizona women's soccer team wrapped up its regular season schedule on the road facing Eastern Washington. All five seniors on Northern Arizona's roster started in their last regular season match ever as Lumberjacks and with two late goals in the second half, Northern Arizona defeated Eastern Washington 2-0 to finish the regular season in second place in the Big Sky Conference with a 7-2 record.
"We had to deal with some wet conditions today, which played into the type of game it was," said head coach Andre Luciano. "Eastern Washington was very dangerous and once we settled down we were able to take control of the game."
With the game being scoreless for 84 minutes, Northern Arizona's offense was able to get the Lumberjacks on the scoreboard when sophomore midfielder Cierra Gamble and senior forward Shawnee Morgan applied pressure on Eastern Washington's defense and forced an own goal to put the Lumberjacks up 1-0. Two minutes later, in her final regular season match, senior midfielder Jordan Stenger was able to place the ball in the left side of the net for second goal of the season. Stenger's goal put the nail in the coffin and sent the Lumberjacks home with the win. Gamble ended the road trip with two goals as Northern Arizona is riding a four-game winning streak.
"It was a fantastic way for Jordan to end her regular season at NAU," said Luciano. "Not just Jordan but all of our seniors stepped up and I am really proud of them."
Both teams were applying heavy pressure on the opposing defenses early in this match as both teams combined for 21 shots with nine of them being on goal in the first 30 minutes of the match. In the first half alone, senior goalkeeper Lauren Weaver had to make five saves to go into halftime tied 0-0.
The offense didn't slow down in the second half as the Lumberjacks and Eagles combined for 16 more shots and Northern Arizona's offense got hot late in the match.
Despite the Eagles recording 18 shots, Weaver was able to record her eighth shutout of the season, which gives her 19 shutouts for her career.
With the win over Eastern Washington, Luciano picks up his 100th career win at Northern Arizona in his 13th season at the helm for the Lumberjacks.
"I think it is a reflection of how hard these players have worked," said Luciano. "I love NAU and everything NAU represents and I am proud to be a part of that."
Now the Lumberjacks turn their attention towards the Big Sky Conference playoffs in two weeks, which will take place in Portland, Ore. where Portland State finished atop the Big Sky Conference.
"We worked for this and it started last spring with their commitment," said Luciano. "This team turned this program back into a winning program and they have done that with a winning record and finishing the season second in the conference."