PRESCOTT, Ariz. – In their only preseason tune-up before its season opener, the Northern Arizona soccer team scored three goals apiece in both the first and second halves en route to a 6-1 victory over Embry-Riddle on Saturday night in front of a lively crowd at the ERU Soccer Field.
True freshmen Haley Wingender and Torey Braly had impressive debuts in their first action in the Lumberjack blue and white as they combined for five of the team's six goals. Wingender recorded a hat trick while Braly added in two goals of her own. Redshirt freshman Malia Tano, also making her collegiate debut after redshirting all of last season, accounted for the team's sixth goal.
"I think preseason games are to work the kinks out," said head coach Andre Luciano. "I'm extremely excited that we were able to get a game out of the way. For us, it was important to get the freshmen some game experience so that we're ready for our first contest against UNLV."
Wingender got the scoring under way in the 14th minute when she collected a pass from Embry-Riddle goalkeeper Ciarra Pederson and sent the ball into the upper left 90. Then in the 34th minute, sophomore Savannah Berry's initial shot was stopped by Pederson, only for Tano to gather the rebound and put in the Lumberjacks' second goal. Braly then provided NAU with a 3-0 advantage heading into halftime with the first of her two goals a mere 19 seconds prior to intermission off a lead pass by sophomore Diane Buzzard.
The Lumberjacks picked off right where they left off to open the second half and continually put the pressure on the Eagles' backline. Following a few near misses, Wingender completed her hat trick with a pair of goals, first off a feed from junior Elinor Priest in the 61st minute and then heading in a free kick from senior Georgia Foltz less than five minutes later.
Braly connected on NAU's final score of the game in the 67th minute off a cross by Priest. Embry-Riddle's Kalyn Goodenough provided the game's final goal of the game in the 78th minute when she shot a strike past junior Lauren Weaver while dribbling in traffic.
For the game, NAU outshot Embry-Riddle 25-14 and also held a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks. Weaver made four saves in the win while Tano led the team with six shots, three of which were on goal. Wingender and Priest also had five shots each.
The Lumberjacks will now prepare for the season opener against UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev. on Aug. 17.