Northern Arizona (5-4-2, 1-1-1 Big Sky) at North Dakota (1-8-1, 0-3-0 Big Sky)
Date: Friday, Oct. 10
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Grand Forks, N.D. – Bronson Field
Northern Arizona at Northern Colorado (7-5-1, 2-1-0 Big Sky)
Date: Sunday, Oct. 12
Time: 11 p.m.
Location: Greeley, Colo. – Jackson Stadium
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – After suffering their first loss in the Big Sky Conference, the Northern Arizona women's soccer team will head back out on the road for a two-match weekend starting on Friday, Oct. 10, against North Dakota and on Sunday the Lumberjacks will face Northern Colorado.
NAU is coming off a 2-1 loss in Moscow, Idaho to the University of Idaho. The loss to the Vandals was Northern Arizona's first defeat since Aug. 28 at the University of Arizona. The Lumberjacks currently sit in seventh place in the Big Sky standings, while their two opponents this weekend, North Dakota is in 10th place and Northern Colorado sits in fourth place. Scoring the lone goal for the Lumberjacks this past weekend was freshman Adrian Nixt off a header in the first half. The native of Portland, Ore. scored her fourth goal of the season, which is tied for third among freshmen in the Big Sky Conference. In conference matches alone, Nixt is tied for fourth among all players.
Northern Arizona will be meeting North Dakota for the third time as NAU won the previous two matches by a combined 6-0. Northern Colorado and the Lumberjacks will meet for the 11th time as the all-time record is even at 5-5. NAU snapped a two-match losing skid to UNC last year in Flagstaff in a 1-0 overtime victory.
Coach Luciano Quote of the Week
"I think the focus this weekend is to try and play two solid halves on Friday. North Dakota is going to be hungry for a win and I expect them to be very well-organized defensively. They are going to try and make it very difficult for us to get behind them. From this point forward we need to take our season one game at a time in terms of conference. We cannot get too caught up in two games, we just have to focus on the game and task in front of us."
Scouting North Dakota
North Dakota is currently on a four-match losing streak and has not won a game since Aug. 29 at Chicago State. Last year when the Lumberjacks faced North Dakota, it was senior day for Northern Arizona, and in the final home game for the Lumberjacks NAU came away with the 2-0 win. UND has scored five goals this season, all coming from different players. Leading North Dakota in points this season is Caitlin Dahl who has three points. In goal for North Dakota is Kristi Hestdalen who has played all 920 minutes and has posted a 2.45 goals against average. UND has put up 86 shots this season with 51 of those shots coming in the second half. North Dakota is first in the Big Sky this season in saves with 99 and has given up 25 goals.
Scouting Northern Colorado
Northern Colorado is the only team from last year's Big Sky Championships that would currently make the tournament again this year as they sit in fourth place in the conference. The Bears are coming off an impressive weekend where they went 2-0 on the road with wins over Idaho State and Weber State. In their two wins over the Bengals and Wildcats, Northern Colorado scored five goals, while allowing just two. The Bears have won three of their last four matches and they have been led by Julian Grover who leads the team with 10 points scoring four goals and adding two assists. Nine different players have scored for Northern Colorado this season with six players scoring two goals or more. In goal for the Bears for the majority of the season is Kaitlin Ruff who has a 1.37 goals against average allowing 18 goals.
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