FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The past and the future of Northern Arizona women's soccer has been well represented this summer down in Tucson, Ariz. as 2012 graduate Sam Monahan, 2015 graduate Savannah Berry and sophomore Amber Measley play for FC Tucson. As a member of the Women's Premier Soccer League, the three Lumberjacks have taken what they learned in Flagstaff and are applying it to the pitch in Tucson.
"I think it is a great honor to have our players play for a class organization like FC Tucson," said head coach Andre Luciano. "We are extremely happy that both Sam and Savannah continue their playing careers after college and it is a great opportunity for Amber to play with former college players and professional athletes and help her in her development."
The veteran of the group, Monahan, returns to the United States after time in Finland with FC Honka. She has played exceptional soccer for FC Tucson scoring two goals along with four assists this season. The 2012 graduate has been able to help her fellow Lumberjacks in the process of playing soccer at the next level, a role she is able to thrive in.
"It is great having some of the youngsters from NAU come through because I enjoy interacting with them," said Monahan. "It's fun because we are able to share experiences and it is an opportunity to stay connected with NAU Soccer."
Coming off a 2014 Big Sky Championship in her senior season at NAU, Berry is pursuing her dream of playing professional soccer and the native of Escondido, Calif. has started in seven of the eight matches this season. After graduating in May, Berry has taken her talents from the Lumberjack Stadium to the Kino Sports Complex.
"Coming down to Tucson has been great because I have been able to play for a great organization with a great group of girls," said Berry. "It was awesome to play with Sam because I never played with her since I transferred to NAU after her senior season. To be on the field with her this season in a new environment is very comforting. Even though I only played with Amber one year it was great to be on the field with her again and it is exciting to see her grow as a player. Playing with my fellow Lumberjacks has made me miss Flagstaff even more."
FC Tucson has trained Berry for her future as the two-time Big Sky Honorable Mention selection will head to London in less than two months to attend graduate school while playing soccer overseas.
"FC Tucson has prepared me for the next level in a sense that I am playing with a whole new group of girls I have not played with for the last three years," said Berry. "Hopefully now I can go over to England where there will be a lot of great talent and I will be able to compete and perform to the best of my ability."
After redshirting her freshman season, Measley returned home to Tucson to get experience on a professional level that will benefit this season wearing the Blue & Gold for the Lumberjacks. The former Catalina Foothills Falcon has played in the last two matches as a defender for FC Tucson and returns to Flagstaff improved and ready to make an impact for the Lumberjacks.
"It is a real honor to be able to represent Northern Arizona University," said Measley. "We are competing with players who have played all over the country and even the world."
Berry, Measley and Monahan have helped FC Tucson this year as the squad currently sits in second place in their conference.
"I had the chance to play with Savannah last year so it was great to continue play with her," said Measley. "I always heard great things about Sam since we went to the same high school and I am thankful for the opportunity to play with her."
Luciano and the soccer's program motto is "Jacks4Life" and these three Lumberjacks are able to live out their dreams of playing soccer at the next level and are able to lean on one another through the ups and downs. All three players have gone through Luciano's program and are able to share stories and help one another out during the summer.
With three Lumberjacks playing for FC Tucson, it shows that Luciano and his staff are bringing high quality talent to Flagstaff and they are able to get the most out their players and provide them the opportunity to play soccer at the next level and the icing on the cake is that these "Jacks4Life" are able to share the experience together.
If you would like to see the three Lumberjacks in action down in Tucson, FC Tucson's final two home matches of the season will be on July 10 and 11 at the Kino Sports Complex against S.D. Sea Lions and Club Tijuana Xolos.