FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – For the first time since 2001, the Northern Arizona women’s soccer team is off to a 2-0 start after defeating Lamar in Sunday’s home opener by a score of 3-2.
After a scoreless first half, the Lumberjacks came to life offensively in the second period, scoring three goals in a span of 18 minutes. Senior Jordan Stenger started it off in 67th minute with a strike from 30 yards out, scoring her first career goal in her last home opener.
“It was such an amazing experience,” said Stenger. “It was great to come out with three goals, and we need to carry that throughout the season.”
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Less than 10 minutes after Stenger’s goal, freshman Lindsay Doyle also got her first career goal, scoring in the 76th minute off a header into the right-hand corner of the net off a feed from Savannah Berry to put up the Lumberjacks up by two goals.
Sophomore Haley Wingender was able to get onto the scoresheet late in the second half when she beat her defender one-on-one and buried a shot into the back of the net.
Throughout the entire preseason, NAU coach Andre Luciano preached that the team would score goals by committee, and in the first two games, the Lumberjacks’ four goals have been scored by four different players.
“That is the mark of a balanced team,” said Luciano. “When you have multiple players scoring goals, it takes the pressure off of one single player and makes us look less predictable.”
Lamar made a late push scoring two goals in less than two minutes from Kimmy Albeno and Jennifer Yacuta, with both tallying their second goals of the season. NAU survived the comeback bid, though, to pull out a win and send a supportive crowd home on a rainy Flagstaff day.
“The crowd was awesome, they gave us that lift this game,” said Luciano. “We moved the benches to get closer to the stands so we could hear the crowd and engage with them, and they were awesome.”