LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Northern Arizona University women's soccer team dropped game number three of the season to UNLV this evening, Aug. 26, by a final score of 3-2. Junior forward Anna Goebel and sophomore forward Mei-Te Coco connected on NAU's two goals of the night – their first goals of the season – with sophomore midfielder Victoria Cooper tallying one assist. The Lumberjacks fall to 1-2 overall while UNLV improves to 3-0 on the season.
"What I asked of them at halftime is that they come in and fight," Head Coach Andre Luciano said. "After being down 3-1, I thought we responded really well. We played a lot of freshman who don't have a ton of experience, but I'm proud of them and how hard we fought."
In period one, the Rebels outshot the 'Jacks by a margin of nine. But in just three attempts for NAU, Goebel found the back of the net in the 34th minute for her first goal of the season to pull the game within one. UNLV was red hot out of the gates, notching two goals in the 18th and 33rd minutes of the first half and forcing Northern Arizona into a game of catch-up. The Rebels headed into the locker room on top, 3-1, after they rattled their third goal home with under five minutes to go.
Looking to bounce back in the final 45 minutes, the match was suspended due to lightning in the area before the second half could begin. Redshirt freshman Lauren Cooper made her career debut to open up the second period replacing junior Meghan Dickmann in goal. UNLV got off its first shot attempt of the half in the 56th minute and fired a second one into the goal post with 30 minutes remaining.
Although the Rebels had a few looks that were a little too close for comfort, the Lumberjacks continued to claw their way back as the clock winded down. In the 64th minute, sophomore Mei-Te Coco gave the 'Jacks new life after her goal right down the middle from roughly 30 yards out. Coco's first goal of the season trimmed NAU's deficit to just one with 25 minutes left in the ball game. Northern Arizona amped up the pressure and pieced together an incredibly strong second half – having as many as six freshman on the field at once – but UNLV was able to hang on to the lead and walk away victorious.
Cooper ended the night with zero goals allowed and one save on seven shot attempts by UNLV in the second half. The Lumberjacks will close out the UNLV Invitational against UC Davis in a neutral match on Sunday, Aug. 28 in Peter Johann Memorial Stadium. Kick-off is set for 10:30 a.m.