FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women's soccer team had an outstanding season last year with 11 wins and a second place finish in the Big Sky Conference. Head coach Andre Luciano and his staff went out on the recruiting trails to find the best talent to put them on top of the conference. The Lumberjacks have added 11 players in this year's 2014 signing class.
"Our goal in this recruiting class was to become deeper in every position," said Luciano. "We got some depth in the backline and depth at the goalkeeper position, which makes it very competitive. With the departure of Lauren Weaver, we wanted attacking players who could score goals in a variety of ways."
Winning will be nothing new to these incoming freshman as nine of the eleven players have won a state championship or a region title in their high school and club careers. The Lumberjacks lose five key players (Alana D'Onofrio, Shawnee Morgan, Elinor Priest, Jordan Stenger and Lauren Weaver) from last year's squad and the freshmen have opportunities to compete for those roles and significant playing time.
"As a group, they are all super competitive," said Luciano. "They are all winners and have made significant impacts on their clubs and I love that they were True Blue NAU and wanted to be a part of this program."
Luciano and his staff traveled across the West Coast to search for the best fits for this squad and found players from all over the West. NAU received the most letters of intent from the state of California and Utah with three; Luciano also grabbed players from the state of Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, which all have schools in the Big Sky.
"Our number one goal in recruiting is to recruit in-state and in our region," said Luciano. "We wanted to throw a little bit of a wider net this year and having games on Fox Sports has helped us out tremendously giving us more exposure."
With 28 returners, Luciano will look to this class to help put NAU on top of the Big Sky Conference. The Lumberjacks will begin their season on Aug. 15th on the road against in-state opponent Arizona State.