FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - For the first time in nearly a month, Northern Arizona (1-3-2) returns to Lumberjack Stadium to host a pair of games this weekend against Air Force (5-2-1) and Southern Utah (2-2-1). Those games will take place on Friday and Saturday, respectively, while The Thunderbirds and Falcons will meet in a neutral site game on Sunday. Admission and parking for all three weekend games at Lumberjack Stadium will be free.
Live stats will be provided for all three games with links available on the women's soccer schedule page on nauathletics.com. Updates, recaps and video content will also be available on nauathletics.com and on the NAU Athletics fan page on Facebook.
Scouting Air Force
The Falcons begin the week at 5-2-1, having played five of their eight games at home. Last weekend, they won a pair of games over Western Carolina and Mercer in a tournament in North Carolina. Among their losses is a 2-0 setback against fellow Big Sky member Northern Colorado. Air Force has already more than doubled its win total from 2009, when the team finished 2-15-1.
Sophomore forward Stephanie Patterson leads the team with two goals and four assists for eight points while freshman Megan Dozier has three goals and one assist. Freshman Kelly Stambaugh has a 0.83 goals against average and three shutouts for the season.
Friday's game will be the first all-time meeting between the two schools.
Scouting Southern Utah
The Thunderbirds bring a 2-2-1 record to Flagstaff after a tie and a loss against Northern Colorado and Idaho State, respectively, last weekend. Southern Utah's two wins are both against NAIA schools, with a 2-0 victory over William Penn and an 8-0 defeat of Embry-Riddle.
Junior Riley Bassett leads the team with six goals, four of which came against Embry-Riddle. 21 of the team's 34 total points this season came in that route of the Eagles. In goal, sophomore Charly Booth has a 1.34 goals against average and 33 saves for the year.
Northern Arizona is 7-0-1 all-time against Southern Utah, including a 2-0 Lumberjack win last season in Cedar City. The teams will be facing each other for the fourth-consecutive season.
Through six games last season, NAU was 1-4-1 before riding a four-game winning streak into conference play and an eventual Big Sky Championship title. Through six games this season, the Lumberjack record is almost identical at 1-3-2, and with a four-game homestand ahead of them and 8 of 11 remaining regular season games in Flagstaff, a similar script to 2009 could be in place.
NAU was 6-2-1 at home in 2009 and have the advantage of four home conference games this season as opposed to three Big Sky home contests a year ago.
In Friday's 3-2 win over Cal State Fullerton, senior midfielder Brenna Boies tied the NAU single game record with three assists, equaling the record total set by Sierra Cristiano against Southern Utah in 2003. Her big day also gave her 18 career assists, putting her in a tie with former Lumberjacks Sarah Neatherton and Cee Cee Odorfer for all-time career record. Boies had two previous games in her career with two assists and also led the Big Sky with eight assists in 2009.
Boies isn't the only senior midfielder lending a helping hand, as fellow upperclassman Sam Monahan already has four assists in 2010, tieing her for the lead in the Big Sky. Monahan had two assists against Arizona State, her second-career two assist game, and single helpers against Arizona and USC. She finished with six assists in 2008 and now has 12 career assists, placing her in a tie for seventh all-time in program history.
In addition to their slow start record-wise, the Lumberjacks have also been slow out of the gate in the first halves of their six games thus far. Despite only being out-scored 4-3 in the first half, NAU has been outshot 57-27 while allowing 16 corner kicks and attempting just eight in the opening stanza.
Conversely, the second half has been more balanced for the Lumberjacks, with opponents holding only a 45-42 shot advantage in the final-45. Despite not scoring any overtime goals, NAU has been offensively dominate in extra time, holding a 9-4 shot advantage and a 9-0 edge in corner kicks while allowing only one shot on goal in four overtime sessions (40 minutes).
The Weaver Wall
In starting the last five games in goal for NAU, freshman netminder Lauren Weaver has impressed coaches and fans alike with her outstanding ball control and athleticism as the last line of defense for the Lumberjacks. In just five games played, Weaver is third in the Big Sky in saves per game (5.60), fourth in save percentage (.778) and fifth in goals against average (1.47).
She has allowed only one goal in three games this season and has made six or more saves on three occasions. She earned her first-career win last Friday against Cal State Fullerton and was named to the USC Trojan Invitational All-Tournament team after making several superb stops over the weekend.
Awards and Accolades
The Lumberjacks had four players named to the All-Tournament team for the USC Trojan Invitational: Seniors Brenna Boies and Kristi Andreassen, junior Jenna Samora and freshman Lauren Weaver. Boies tied a school record with three assists in the first game of the tournament against Cal State Fullerton while Andreassen had a goal in that game. Samora scored NAU's only goal against USC and totaled six shots for the weekend, and Weaver totaled 10 saves in two games and earned her first-career victory.
Northern Arizona returned seven players this season that received All-Big Sky honors in 2009. Junior forward Jenna Samora, senior defender Kristi Andreassen and senior midfielder Brenna Boies were named to the All-Big Sky First Team, while senior defender Tori Howe earned Second-Team honors. Receiving All-Big Sky Honorable Mention for the Lumberjacks were senior midfielders Sam Monahan, Brandy Carr and Corie McGuire.