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November 12, 2013

Soccer’s Coach Luciano & Three Players Earn College Sports Madness Honors

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – After an exciting 2013 season for the Northern Arizona women's soccer team, head coach Andre Luciano was named Coach of the Year by  College Sports Madness for the Big Sky Conference. The honor comes after the Lumberjacks finished with an 11-5-3 overall record and finished second in the Big Sky.  

Luciano and the Lumberjacks were back in the Big Sky Conference Championships for the first time since 2010 and more than doubled last year's win total. The team went from scoring 15 goals last season, to 25 goals this season. The team picked up their play during conference with a 7-3 record compared to a 3-3-3 conference record in 2012.

Luciano was not the only one to receive an honor from College Sports Madness as sophomore midfielder Cierra Gamble and sophomore forward Haley Wingender were named to First Team All-Big Sky.

This is Gamble's second first team all-conference award this year as she earned First Team All-Big Sky honors by the conference as well. Gamble is one of two Golden Boot winners this year as she tallied 13 points during conference play, which was tied for the most in conference this season. The Golden Boot winner is the player with the most points during conference play. The sophomore from Corona, Calif. played her best soccer when it mattered most during conference play when she scored four goals and handed out five assists. Gamble had scored at least one point in five straight conference matches during one stretch.

This is the second honor for Wingender as she was named to the All-Big Sky Second Team last week. The native of Henderson, Nev. was tied for the most goals scored this season for Northern Arizona and was second on the team with 13 points. Wingender led the Lumberjacks in shots with 26 and had two game-winning goals this season to help propel the Lumberjacks into the Big Sky Championships.

Senior defender Alana D'Onofrio was named to the College Sports Madness Second team after leading the Lumberjacks defensive backline this season. D'Onofrio was a part of a great defense this year that allowed only 0.94 goals per game. The captain from Pleasanton, Calif. was named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week twice this season and recorded an assist against Southern Utah.