Women's Soccer Loses Late Lead, Draws with Arizona 1-1

Women's Soccer Loses Late Lead, Draws with Arizona 1-1

TUCSON, Ariz. – Northern Arizona held a 1-0 lead into the 88th minute, but Arizona found the equalizer with two minutes left in regulation and the game would end in a 1-1 tie. The Lumberjacks and Wildcats both moved to 0-2-1 after the in-state rivals played to a draw for the second-consecutive year.

"It's really disappointing because we're making freshman mistakes at the end of the game on a team full of juniors and seniors," said head coach Andre Luciano. "It's the second time this season against a Pac-10 team that I felt that we let the game slip away from us instead of just closing it off. I felt like we should've won tonight, but I give (Arizona head coach) Lisa Oyen and her staff credit for preservering for 88 minutes and finishing a goal to get the tie."

Arizona got the first good chance of the game in the 11th minute, as junior Renae Cueller sent a free kick from 25 yards out just wide right. NAU would have a free kick of its on from a similar distance a few minutes later, but the try from junior Georgia Foltz was smothered in the goal moth by Arizona junior goalkeeper Ashley Jett.

The Lumberjacks would earn a corner kick in the 28th minute and take advantage with the games' first goal. Senior Sam Monahan would attempt the corner, and 5-11 senior defender Kristi Andreassen was able to deflect the ball past Jett to give NAU the lead.

In the final minute of the first half, Arizona freshman Shannon Heinzler had an open break down the left side of the box, but Lumberjack senior defender Tori Howe made a sliding play to knock the ball out of bounds and the half ended with the Lumberjacks leading 1-0.

Arizona was on the attack early in the second half, narrowly missing on several tries, the closest coming on a point-blank shot by Wildcat sophomore Ariel Boulicault in the 53rd minute that was blocked out of bounds.

Monahan had a shot stopped in the 63rd minute and had another try from the top of the box denied two minutes later. The Wildcats would build an attack in the 68th minute but was called offside just before a cross into the goal mouth.

In the 80th minute, NAU junior Carolyn Savage fired a shot off a volley from 30 yards out, narrowly missing a goal as the ball landed just on top of the net. Five minutes later, NAU's Laura Johnson played a one-timer on net that was denied on a diving stop by Jett.

NAU looked to have the game locked up, but with two minutes remaining the Wildcats would find the equalizer. Freshman Jensen Skinner was able to intricately navigate her way through the Lumberjack defense on the right side of the box and fire a shot that deflected off the head of Andreassen and past Weaver inside the left post to tie the game and send it to overtime.

The Lumberjacks had some quality chances in the first overtime, including a header by Andreassen off a free kick from Foltz that went high in the 95th minute. Andreassen had another blast from 40 yards go begging in the final seconds of the first overtime as the game went to a second extra session.

Arizona's Heinzler had a try from 20 yards early in the 2nd overtime stopped easily by Weaver. A free kick from Foltz in the 108th minute was deflected on goal by Monahan but stopped easily by Jett, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Arizona held a 19-13 shot advantage for the game, though NAU had a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal. Weaver made six saves in her second-career game while Monahan led the NAU offensive attack with a game-high seven shots and three shots on goal. NAU had eight corner kicks, capitalizing on one in the first half but unable to convert five corners combined in the two overtime sessions.

The Lumberjacks will continue road play on Sunday at New Mexico State at 11 a.m.

DID YOU KNOW...NAU finished second overall in the 2009-10 Big Sky Conference All-Sports Standings behind Weber State. The Lumberjacks were second in the men's standings and fourth in the women's rankings.