NAU soccer shuts out Long Beach St. in season opener
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Northern Arizona women’s soccer team shut out Long Beach State in Friday night's season opener to picked up its first win of the season by a score of 1-0.
Sophomore forward Malia Tano got the Lumberjacks' first goal of the year just 54 seconds into the second half. Long Beach State came out strong early with nine shots in the first half, but the NAU defense was stellar all night, and goalkeeper Lauren Weaver came up with four saves.
“I think it’s a testament to how hard the team has worked this offseason,” said NAU coach Andre Luciano. “Long Beach State is a very good team, but we had a gameplan, stuck to it, and we defended well and got a great goal from Tano.”
Tano’s goal came off a pass from forward Haley Wingender, with Tano controlling and then slipping the ball past the goalie from 12 yards out.
“Haley gave me great pass and I was able to place it in the far post, and starting off the year like this, I know we are going to go far,” said Tano, a native of California who had several family members in attendance and cheering her game-winning goal. “It was awesome having my family there and scoring in front of them.”
Long Beach State outshot NAU by nine, but the Lumberjacks were able to make the most of their opportunities.
Luciano and his team will look to carry the momentum into their home opener Sunday against Lamar, which defeated Prairie View A&M on Friday by a score of 3-2.
“We are going to try and ride this momentum as much as we can, but Lamar is a very good team, so we have to come prepared and focus,” said Luciano. “We are going to enjoy this one, but this game is in the books and we got to move on to the next one.”