FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona University women's soccer team, on the final day (Sept. 11) of the 2016 NAU Mountain Classic, ended in a double overtime 0-0 draw versus the University of New Mexico in Lumberjack Stadium. Head Coach Andre Luciano and the Lumberjacks are now 2-4-1 on the season with just two non-conference games remaining before Big Sky action kicks off.
"This was a really good weekend for us because we learned how to defend and not give teams easy looks," Luciano said. "When we aren't chasing the game, we can relax a little more. We have to continue to take chances and understand that we don't always have to score a perfect goal, but on the plus side, we are now starting to create those chances for ourselves."
Coming off her second game-winner of the 2016 campaign against University of Illinois-Chicago two nights prior, junior forward Adrian Nixt notched one of NAU's best looks of the afternoon in the 11th minute. Senior midfielder Mattie Wojcik booted a free kick into the goalie box where Nixt was there to attempt the header. In the 42nd minute, junior forward Anna Goebel and sophomore defender Amber Measley propelled the 'Jacks into yet another chance to take a 1-0 lead. Goebel found Measley in the open field but her slow roller past the goalkeeper missed wide.
New Mexico edged Northern Arizona in shot attempts, 18-11, but the Lumberjacks never backed down on the offensive or defensive ends. Junior goalkeeper Meghan Dickmann recorded a season-high six saves, three of which game in the first half, making several standout plays to dodge a UNM lead. One of those plays came in the 63rd minute where she made a diving grab for her first of two saves in the second period.
"I think Missy [Kettelkamp] said it best at the end of our game," Luciano added. "We are learning how to battle and fight in tough situations. With a young team, that is part of the maturation process. We stuck to the game plan of shutting down Maddie Irwin and I thought Victoria Cooper and Carly Gamble did a great job of shutting her down."
Although the Lobos had 16 total shot attempts in regulation, Luciano's squad held UNM to a mere two shots in the first and second 10-minute overtime periods. The Lumberjacks had fans on the edge of their seats in the final 20 minutes as they had four solid looks at goal in the second overtime period alone. In the 99th minute, Nixt broke free for her third of three total shot attempts but missed high. Goebel also gave Northern Arizona another opportunity in the 105th minute, but New Mexico's goalkeeper tallied her third save of the period and fifth overall.
The Lumberjacks are back on the road this weekend, Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, at Air Force and Colorado College. Kick-off is set for 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. MST, respectively, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Luciano and his young crew now turn to their final two non-conference matches for some momentum heading into conference action. Northern Arizona will open the Big Sky season versus Portland State on Sept. 23 in Lumberjack Stadium.