NAU soccer again plays to scoreless draw
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Northern Arizona soccer team recorded its third straight home shutout Friday night, but it resulted in its third consecutive 0-0 tie.
Despite overwhelming Eastern Washington in the second half and the overtime periods, NAU could not break through and settled for the tie that pushed its record to 5-7-5 overall and 3-2-3 in Big Sky play heading into its final conference match of the season on Sunday.
“It’s disappointing, because I thought in the second half and the overtimes we came out ready to play, and if we did that for 90 minutes, we would’ve won the game,” said NAU coach Andre Luciano. “We just don’t have a true finisher this year, and that’s been the story all season for us, and that’s unfortunate because this team has grown a lot and it should’ve been a better result for us tonight.”
The visiting Eagles controlled the game for the majority of the first 45 minutes of play and outshot the Lumberjacks 6-3 in the first half. Eastern Washington also held a commanding 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
However, all of that would change from the onset of the second half, as NAU came out of the intermission on the attack. In the first 15 minutes of the second stanza, the Lumberjacks put up seven shots and sent in five corner kicks but couldn't find the back of the net. In the 48th minute, senior Georgia Foltz’s free kick would take a high bounce that was just tipped by Jamie Walker, the Eagles goalkeeper. Later in the 52nd minute, off a corner by junior Elinor Priest, the ball would end up on the foot of sophomore Sarah Tarver, who’s shot from inside a scrum in front of the net would scoot wide of the net.
Each team had a prime opportunity later in the second half within a span of a minute and a half. After Eastern Washington’s Siara Byers’ attempt rolled off the top of the crossbar in the 72nd minute, junior Shawnee Morgan had the same fate on the opposite end of the field in the 73rd minute, as her shot also grazed the crossbar.
With the score still knotted up at 0-0, the game headed to overtime, where only NAU would muster a shot attempt. The Lumberjacks would get one clear shot at the game-winner in the 104th minute off an attempt by Morgan, but her shot in the box ultimately sailed over the net.
The Lumberjacks held a commanding 13-4 advantage in shots after the first half that helped them to a 16-10 overall advantage. Both teams attempted seven corner kicks.
Junior Lauren Weaver recorded four saves for her sixth solo shutout of the season, all of which have come in conference play. With six shutouts against Big Sky opponents this season, the Lumberjacks set a new school record for conference shutouts in a single season, breaking the mark set in 2010. Tarver led NAU with four shots, while Foltz, Morgan and sophomore Savannah Berry each totaled three shots.
NAU will host Montana on Sunday in its final Big Sky conference match of the season and will look to improve to 15 points in the conference season.