FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women's soccer team has released its 2015 schedule that features nine non-conference matches and 11 home matches as the Lumberjacks look to defend their 2014 Big Sky Championship.
"This is a challenging schedule with a good balance of home and away games against strong opponents from different regions," said head coach Andre Luciano. "We always look forward to hosting a PAC-12 opponent and hosting first time opponents. We feel that our non-conference schedule will prepare us for Big Sky Conference play."
Like the 2014 season, NAU will have one exhibition match, against Arizona State, before starting the season. The two teams faced off last year in Glendale and this upcoming season the match will take place in Prescott at the Prescott Valley Amphitheatre. NAU will open the season down in the Valley as the Lumberjacks take on Grand Canyon on August 21. This will be the first time that NAU will play at Grand Canyon during the regular season. The in-state matches continue for the Lumberjacks as NAU will host the University of Arizona on August 28 for the Lumberjacks first home match of the season.
"I think anytime you play any in-state teams it adds value to the game," said Luciano. "It also heightens the exposure of the sport in the state of Arizona and we have been fortunate to have both PAC-12 schools look to schedule us."
UofA is the first of four straight home matches for NAU during their non-conference schedule welcoming UNLV, Alabama State and Oakland to town.
Northern Arizona will make a trip to the Midwest in 2015 with two matchups against Big East member Marquette who finished fourth in its conference with an appearance in the Big East Championship semifinal. The second match in the Midwest trip will be Loyola Chicago of the Missouri Valley Conference who finished in sixth place making it to the Missouri Valley Conference Championship quarterfinals. This is the farthest trip the Lumberjacks have made since 2002 when Luciano took NAU to Kalamazoo, Michigan to face Western Michigan and Central Michigan.
"Northern Arizona University strives to become a nationally recognized institution and one way to do that is to take us to different parts of the country for some national exposure," said Luciano. "We have had some alums from Chicago with past recruiting success from that area so we wanted to go back to the Midwest to face some quality opponents."
For the second straight season, NAU will host the Mountain Classic to close out its non-conference schedule. Participating in the Mountain Classic will be Robert Morris, North Dakota State and Grand Canyon with NAU playing Robert Morris and North Dakota State.
To kick off its Big Sky schedule, NAU will head out on the road for three straight matches against Sacramento State, Portland State and the 2014 Big Sky Regular Season Champions, Montana. The Lumberjacks will have five Big Sky matches at home this season hosting Northern Colorado, North Dakota, Idaho, Idaho State and Weber State.
|8/14||Arizona State (Exhibition)||Prescott, Ariz.||7 p.m.|
|8/21||Grand Canyon||Phoenix, Ariz.||7 p.m.|
|8/28||Arizona||Flagstaff, Ariz.||7 p.m.|
|8/30||UNLV||Flagstaff, Ariz.||7 p.m.|
|9/4||Alabama State||Flagstaff, Ariz.||7 p.m.|
|9/6||Oakland||Flagstaff, Ariz.||12 p.m.|
|9/11||Marquette||Milwaukee, Wis.||7:30 p.m.|
|9/13||Loyola Chicago||Milwaukee, Wis.
|NAU Mountain Classic||Flagstaff, Ariz.|
|9/18||North Dakota State||Flagstaff, Ariz.||7 p.m.|
|9/20||Robert Morris||Flagstaff, Ariz.||1 p.m.|
|9/25||Sacramento State*||Sacramento, Calif.||4 p.m.|
|9/27||Portland State*||Portland, Ore.||1 p.m.|
|10/4||Montana*||Missoula, Mont.||12 p.m.|
|10/9||Northern Colorado*||Flagstaff, Ariz.||
|10/11||North Dakota*||Flagstaff, Ariz.||12 p.m.|
|10/16||Eastern Washington*||Cheney, Wash.||4 p.m.|
|10/23||Idaho State*||Flagstaff, Ariz.||6 p.m.|
|10/25||Weber State*||Flagstaff, Ariz.||12 p.m.|
|10/30||Southern Utah*||Cedar City, Utah||4 p.m.|
|11/5-11/8||Big Sky Conference Championship||TBA||TBA|
Bold Matches are home
*Big Sky Matches