FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Northern Arizona soccer team wasn’t able to overcome an early Montana goal on Sunday, as the score held up the rest of the way and the Lumberjacks dropped their Big Sky Conference finale 1-0.
NAU finished the conference season with an even 3-3-3 record and fell to 5-8-5 overall heading into its regular-season finale on Friday against CSU Bakersfield.
Montana got on the board in the eighth minute courtesy of a goal by Mary Makris. Makris received a pass from the right side of the field into the box by Mackenzie Akins and flipped the ball into the back of the net past junior Lauren Weaver. With a 1-0 lead in hand, the Grizzlies pressed the action throughout the remainder of the half, outshooting the Lumberjacks by a 9-2 margin and recording five corner kicks to none for NAU. Despite the consistent pressure from the Grizzlies, the Lumberjacks were able to keep the deficit at 1-0 entering halftime.
The Lumberjacks would have their best opportunity to net the equalizer early in the 53rd minute when junior Shawnee Morgan received a lead ball into the box. However, Morgan’s shot from 10 yards out just skipped wide right of the net. NAU would tally just one more shot — at the 72-minute mark — off the foot of sophomore Emily Roth, but Roth’s shot sailed high and Montana held on for the win.
“The score is indicative of what we’ve gone through all season long,” said NAU coach Andre Luciano. “We haven’t been able to put the ball into the back of the net and we’ve struggled offensively. Defensively we did a great job, but we just can’t put the ball into the back of the net.”
Montana held a 14-4 advantage in shots for the match and totaled 10 corner kicks to NAU’s one. Weaver made six saves Sunday to boost her conference total to 63 in nine Big Sky matches. In conference play, Weaver allowed just eight goals in 870 minutes. Morgan, Roth and sophomores Savannah Berry and Sarah Tarver each tallied a shot against the Grizzlies.
The Lumberjacks wrap up their season with Senior Night on Friday. It will be the final game in an NAU uniform for seniors Georgia Foltz, Laura Johnson and Jessica Kettelkamp. The game will start at 6 p.m. and be broadcast live on FOX Sports Arizona.