Northern Arizona (0-3-1, Big Sky) vs. South Dakota (3-1-0, Summit League)
Date: Sunday, Sept. 7
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Site: Flagstaff, Ariz. – Lumberjack Stadium
TV: Fox Sports Arizona Plus, Fox Sports North & Fox College Sports Pacific
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – After their first shutout of the season against Valparaiso, the Northern Arizona women's soccer team will be looking for their first win of the season as they welcome South Dakota to Flagstaff on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 12 p.m. at Lumberjack Stadium.
The Lumberjacks' defense continues to improve each game as NAU has allowed just one goal in the last two games. Goalkeeper Natalie Gilbertson is coming off a weekend earning Big Sky Co-Defensive Player of the Week after facing 39 shots and recording 14 saves against the University of Arizona and Valparaiso. Gilbertson now has 23 saves this season, more than every school in the Big Sky besides Montana. The redshirt sophomore also leads the Big Sky in saves per game averaging 7.67 per contest. After four games, Gilbertson has 0.90 goals against average, which puts her fifth in the conference.
Coach Luciano Quote of the Week
"I think we have to improve on our attacking mentality and create more opportunities going forward. We have to concentrate on continuing to stay steady in the back but most importantly our effort has to improve. We have to come out with intensity in everything we do."
This will be the first ever matchup between Northern Arizona and South Dakota.
Scouting South Dakota
The Coyotes have been an offensive juggernaut in the first four games of the season scoring 18 goals with six players scoring more than one goal. Eleven different players have scored this season for the Coyotes and leading the way is junior midfielder Rebecca Sparkman who leads South Dakota with three goals and eight points this season. Leading the way in assists is sophomore forward Corey Strang with four in as many games. The Coyotes' most impressive performance this season was against Arkansas-Pine Bluff as South Dakota made school history scoring 11 goals in one game. The Coyotes have seen two goalkeepers play significant minutes this season in Mackenzie Viktor and Sydney Hardin. Viktor has started all four matches and has played the majority of the minutes with a 0.38 goals against average. Hardin has played 120 minutes this season with three saves, not allowing a single goal.
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