NAU Soccer Kicks Off Their Big Sky Schedule at Home

NAU Soccer Kicks Off Their Big Sky Schedule at Home

Northern Arizona (4-3-1, Big Sky) vs. Portland State (3-3-2, Big Sky)

Date: Sept. 26

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Flagstaff, Ariz. – Lumberjack Stadium

Live Stats

Northern Arizona vs. Sacramento State (5-4-0, Big Sky)

Date: Sept. 28

Time: 12 p.m.

Location: Flagstaff, Ariz. – Lumberjack Stadium

Live Stats

Games Notes

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women's soccer team are riding a four-match winning streak into the beginning of conference play as they open their Big Sky schedule at home against the defending regular season champions Portland State on Friday, Sept. 26, at Lumberjack Stadium. NAU will close out the weekend against Sacramento State on Sunday for their first Big Sky home stand of the season.

The Lumberjacks ended their non-conference schedule on a high note in a thrilling 1-0 double overtime win against UTEP on the road. UTEP had defeated two Big Sky opponents this season in Southern Utah and the defending conference champions Weber State by a combined score of 6-3 where they were able to get off 27 shots. NAU's defense held the Miners to just eight shots the entire game without allowing a goal in 101 minutes of play.

The win over UTEP was the Lumberjack's fourth straight win, which is the longest-winning streak in conference. The Lumberjacks ended their non-conference schedule with a 4-3-1 record, the second straight season the Lumberjacks had a winning-record during non-conference.

Coach Luciano Quote of the Week

"This is what it is all about. It is about competing for a conference championship and winning a conference championship. From this point forward we have stressed that every game is a playoff game and now our goal is to secure a top-six spot in the conference. In order to secure a spot in the playoffs, defending your home turf is critical and that is what we have to do this weekend."

Series

Portland State and Northern Arizona will be meeting for the 20th time with NAU holding a 10-5-4 record against the Vikings. Last year, NAU traveled to Portland and suffered a 2-1 loss in overtime. Northern Arizona will face-off against Sacramento State for the 19th time as NAU's record against the Hornets is 10-7-2. Last year, the Lumberjacks got a 3-0 win in Sacramento.   

Scouting Portland State

The defending Big Sky regular season champions come into Flagstaff with a 3-3-2 record. Although they only have three wins, the Vikings arguably had the toughest non-conference schedule in the Big Sky this season facing No. 21 California and No. 10 Texas Tech who they took to double overtime in a 1-0 defeat. PSU has had three Big Sky Player of the Week honors this season and two of them came from goalkeeper Caitlin Plese who has been stellar between the posts this season. Plese has a 0.90 goals against average and has two shutouts. Six different players have scored for the Vikings this season and leading the way is Mackenzie Bean with two goals. Bean is very accurate with her shots as she has fired off eight shots this season; four of the eight shots have been on goal. The Vikings were picked to finish first in the Big Sky in the preseason poll.   

Scouting Sacramento State

Sacramento State ended the non-conference schedule tied for the most wins in the Big Sky this season along with Northern Colorado with five. The Hornets are coming off a 2-1 victory over Fresno State to end non-conference putting them at 5-4-0. Head coach Randy Dedini has had a lot of players on the offensive attack as eight players have scored this season. Kristen Bridges leads the team with two goals scored this season, while Lydia Bowman leads the Hornets in points this season with one goal and three assists. Sacramento State was picked to finish seventh in the conference. Goalkeeper Kimberly Mata has been one of the top goalkeepers in the Big Sky this season as she holds a 0.76 goals against average, which puts her second in the conference just behind NAU's Natalie Gilbertson.

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