Women's Soccer to Open Big Sky Play at Idaho State and Weber State
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Northern Arizona (5-3-2) takes a four-game winning streak and shutout streak into the start on conference play this week at Idaho State (5-6-1) on Thursday and Weber State (1-11-0) on Saturday. The Lumberjacks, picked to win the Big Sky in the preseason coaches' poll, will begin conference play facing the two teams they defeated in the Big Sky Championship final over the last-two seasons. NAU and Northern Colorado are the only Big Sky teams that enter conference play with winning records.
NAU has not allowed a goal in its last 367 minutes and four seconds dating back to September 12 at USC. The school record shutout streak is 513:53, set during the 2007 campaign. The Lumberjacks would need to shut out Idaho State on Thursday and hold Weber State scoreless into the 57th minute to eclipse that mark this weekend. A shutout of Idaho State would also tie the school record for most consecutive shutouts. During their current shutout streak, the Lumberjack defense has allowed a total of only 14 shots on goal.
Idaho State will have a live radio broadcast of Thursday's game on KISU 91.1 FM in Pocatello and available online at kisu.org. Live stats will be provided for Saturday's game at Weber State. Links to the radio broadcast and live stats can be found on the women's soccer schedule page on nauathletics.com.
After starting NAU's season opener and then recovering from a minor injury, junior goalkeeper Tori Rocke has returned to the Lumberjack goal and recorded four-straight shutouts (one shared). Her blank sheet in the Lumberjack's 1-0 win over San Francisco last Friday was her 14th career solo shutout, surpassing former Lumberjack Liz Winkelblech for the NAU career record. Since returning to the NAU goal in the last three-plus games, Rocke has made nine saves while not allowing a goal.
In addition to breaking the career shutout record, Rocke is also the all-time leader among NAU goalies in career win percentage (.595), is third in program history in career saves (217), and is fifth in fewest goals against (62).
She also became the third straight Lumberjack to earn Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week honors for the period of Sept. 27 - Oct. 3. After assisting on a goal and helping NAU post a shutout, the Big Sky Conference selected NAU senior defender Kristi Andreassen as its Defensive Player of the Week for the period of September 20-26. Andreassen also won the award the previous week, September 13-19, after scoring two game winning goals and helping NAU record a pair of shutouts. She is the only player in the conference to have received Player of the Week accolades more than once this season.
Idaho State started the season 5-2-1 but have lost four straight games by an aggregate score of 12-1. Last Wednesday they dropped a 4-0 decision at No. 11 BYU to bring their record to 5-6-1 entering conference play. Idaho State has gone 4-1-1 at home so far this season.
Freshman forward Kiley Godfrey leads the team with three goals and two assists for eight points while sophomore Rachel Strawn has totaled two goals and three assists thus far. Junior Bailey Williams has started every game for Idaho State and has a 1.83 goals against average but has been replaced in goal by freshman Carly Hutchings in five games.
The Lumberjacks are 6-7-2 all-time against Idaho State, including a 4-2 loss in Pocatello last season. The teams met a second time in 2009 in the Big Sky Championship final, with NAU posting a 4-0 win to claim the conference title. The Bengals were picked to finish fifth in the Big Sky Preseason Coaches' poll.
Meanwhile, Weber State enters conference play at 1-11-0, with their only win coming in a 1-0 victory at Air Force. Weber State has scored just nine goals in 12 games this season and have been out-scored 30-9 overall, allowing 2.5 goals per game. The team has been out-shot 217-103 for the season and has been shut out five times.
Junior forward Jessie Baddley and junior midfielder Rachel Wood each have two goals and two assists this season to lead the team with six points. Redshirt freshman Ryann Waldman and sophomore Alyson Hanson have shared time in goal for Weber State, combining for a 2.47 goals against average and .720 save percentage with Waldman starting the last-three Wildcat games.
Northern Arizona is 4-11-1 all-time against Weber State but has won the last-two meetings between the teams: A 3-0 Lumberjack win in Ogden last season and a 2-1 win in Ogden in 2008 in the Big Sky Championship final. The Wildcats will host Northern Colorado on Thursday before facing NAU on Saturday.