NCAA Women's College Cup First Round
Northern Arizona (12-5-4, 7-2-3 Big Sky) at Arizona State (11-5-4, 4-4-3 PAC-12)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 15
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Tempe, Ariz. – Sun Devil Soccer Stadium
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona women's soccer team has punched their ticket to the NCAA College Cup for the first time since 2009 and will face in-state opponent Arizona State in the first round of the tournament. The Lumberjacks are riding a five-game win streak going into the College Cup after rattling off three wins in the Big Sky Conference Championships to take home the title.
NAU started off the tournament going in as the No. 3 seed in a six-team bracket with the first two seeds receiving a bye in the quarterfinals. Northern Arizona kicked off the tournament on Thursday, Nov. 6, against the No. 6 seed Eastern Washington and the Lumberjacks got the 2-1 win over the Eagles. Going into the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 7, the Lumberjacks went into the game as an underdog facing the No. 2 seed in the tournament Portland State. After the Vikings scored early in the game taking a 1-0 lead, the Lumberjacks would have to come from behind and for the first time this season, NAU was able to fight back and defeat Portland State 2-1 to advance to the championship.
Northern Arizona waited for the winner of the latter semifinal matchup between the No. 1 seed Montana and the No. 5 seed Idaho State who had defeated the No. 4 seed Northern Colorado in the quarterfinals. Idaho State defeated the Grizzlies to advance to the finals to face the Lumberjacks. Northern Arizona and Idaho State were the only two teams to win a game during the Big Sky Championships to set up a matchup. It took two goals in 90 minutes in 37 degree weather with rain showers on a slick playing field to come out as Big Sky Champions. The Northern Arizona women's soccer team delivered two goals coming from Emily Wadell and Haley Wingender as the Lumberjacks defeated Idaho State 2-1 to take home the Big Sky title for the third time in school history.
The Lumberjacks and Sun Devils will meet for the eleventh time. ASU is 9-1-0 against Northern Arizona with NAU's lone win coming in 2001 at Arizona State when the Sun Devils were ranked No. 22 in the country. These two teams met this year in an exhibition game on the campus of ASU West to kick off both team's season. Both teams agreed that the score would not be publicized.
Coach Luciano Quote of the Week
"I think when you get to this point of the season everybody is excited to be here. I think that it is great that our players get to travel down to Tempe with support from our friends and family. This is just another game and we have to treat this one game at a time. ASU has some terrific athletes in Cali Farquharson who is perhaps one of the best forwards in the country. They are really deep but it is just another game with two teams putting on cleats on the same time and both teams are going to be excited behind a big crowd. Our girls have been so focused this season and they are not just satisfied with just winning the Big Sky Conference. We want to do something bigger."
Scouting Arizona State
Arizona State ended the regular season with an 11-5-4 record, finishing eighth in the PAC-12, arguably the toughest conference in the country with a 4-4-3 record. The Sun Devils go into the College Cup on a two-game win streak with wins over Utah and rival the University of Arizona. ASU is led by junior forward Cali Farquharson who is tied for leader in goals in the PAC-12 with 14. Farquharson, a Capital One Academic All-District 8 selection, is third in the PAC-12 with 31 points (14 goals, 3 assists). Second on the team in points with 21 is Aly Moon, a freshman midfielder that has scored eight goals this season along with five assists. Arizona State has scored 36 goals this season coming from 11 different players. This is Arizona State's fourth postseason bid in the last six seasons as the Sun Devils post a 3-5-1 record all-time in the College Cup. In goal for Arizona State is redshirt junior Chandler Morris playing in 18 of the 20 games for the Sun Devils this season posting a 0.79 goals against average with seven shutouts.
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