FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women's soccer team closed out the weekend at home against Eastern Washington. The Eagles scored in the first half and Eastern Washington was able to shut out the Lumberjacks for the 1-0 win. NAU is now 7-5-3 on the season and 3-2-2 in the Big Sky.
"Eastern Washington did a good job of connecting through the midfield today," said head coach Andre Luciano. "In the first half we were not very sharp and it had an effect on us. We had our opportunities at the very beginning of the game with a breakaway and a sitter in the second half in front of goal but we could not convert."
Eastern Washington was efficient in the first half with six shots, three on goal. The Eagles jumped on the scoreboard first in the 21st minute of the first half off a strike five-yards outside the box by Chloe Williams to give the Eagles the 1-0 lead. Cassie Black led the Eagles in the first half with four shot attempts. Williams' goal was the first goal the Lumberjacks had allowed in three games. Northern Arizona had five shot attempts in the first 45 minutes with three shots on goal. Despite the five shot attempts, the Lumberjacks struggled to get into a rhythm offensively in the first half and went into halftime down 1-0.
NAU came out in the second half on the offensive attack with three shots in the first four minutes of the second half. The Lumberjacks had a golden opportunity with 14 minutes left in regulation as Demi Schmieder crossed a ball into the box for a shot from Adrian Nixt but Nixt's attempt went high above the post as Eastern Washington held on to the 1-0 lead.
"That is the nature of sports sometimes," said Luciano. "You can create a lot of chances and yet end up on the losing side. We went from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 in the second half to put a little more pressure on them but they were able to get number's behind the ball and we didn't."
The Lumberjacks have yet to win a game this season when their opponent scores first and even though Northern Arizona outshot the Eagles 14-9, had four corner kicks and outshot Eastern Washington 9-3 in the second half, it wasn't enough as the 'Jacks dropped their first game at home this season.
"We have to be hungrier going towards goal," said Luciano. "We rely solely on becoming too possession-oriented but we have to a bigger sense of urgency going into the attacking-third to get numbers forward."
The Lumberjacks will now head out on the road next week in the Big Sky for a matchup against the defending conference champions, Weber State, and Idaho State.