FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona University women's soccer team was edged by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the 99th minute of the match in Lumberjack Stadium this afternoon. It was a physical game for both squads as a combined 34 fouls were called. This is 10 more than the previous Lumberjack Stadium record for most fouls in a single match.
"We were the team that was looking to attack more," Head Coach Andre Luciano said. "I couldn't have asked anything more of our players today."
The Lumberjacks controlled much of the first half with eight shots, three on goal, compared to UNLV's four. After seven minutes of play, senior midfielder Cierra Gamble was given a clean shot but was saved by UNLV's starting goalkeeper Jessie Clark. Redshirt junior forward Nicole Sherwin recorded her second shot of the season nearly 10 minutes later, but missed above the frame. As the half winded down, NAU just missed taking the lead with a pass on target from senior defender Ashlynn Curnow to senior midfielder Lauren Doud.
"I know that a game like this will only help fuel the fire," Doud said. "It's very evident that we fight for each other and we want to win. We still expect great things moving forward."
Up until overtime, the NAU back line was proving tough to beat under the leadership of Curnow and junior Torey Braly. The Rebels tallied nine shots in the second half, bringing about four saves for redshirt junior goalkeeper Natalie Gilbertson, in the second half compared to NAU's three. With less than two minutes left in overtime, redshirt junior forward Susie Bernal sealed the win for the Rebels with an assist by sophomore defender Chidera Akubuilo. This was Bernal's second game-winning goal of the season.
"I think we took the fight to UNLV," Luciano said. "Last year we started 0-3 and it ended up being an NCAA year. This part of the season is about fixing things."
Onward and upward for NAU soccer as they will return to Lumberjack Stadium next week for games against Alabama State on Friday, Sep. 4 and Oakland on Sunday, Sep. 6. Friday evening's game will begin at 8 p.m. and kick-off Sunday is set for 11 a.m.