OGDEN, Utah – The Northern Arizona University women's soccer team dropped its first Big Sky game of the season to the Weber State Wildcats this afternoon, Sept. 30, by a final score of 3-1. The Lumberjacks finished with nearly every statistical category in their favor, but two unfortunate goals against them in the first half gave the Wildcats enough momentum to finish on top. Head Coach Andre Luciano and the 'Jacks drop to 4-6-2 on the season, 1-1-1 in conference, but look to bounce back at North Dakota on Friday, Oct. 7 in Grand Forks, N.D.
"I think we underestimated our opponents and came out flat-footed today," Luciano said. "When you go into halftime giving up a penalty kick and an own goal, it's a little brutal. We have to be hungrier in front of goal, that's the bottom line. Weber State was proactive and created their own luck; we didn't respond until we gave up that third goal."
It was an unusual first half for the Lumberjacks to say the least. In the 10th minute, Weber State connected on its first goal of the afternoon off a penalty kick. In the 22nd minute, Weber State scored off an own goal after the ball bounced around the goalie box – following a corner kick – and eventually deflected off an NAU defender. Northern Arizona had two more shot attempts than the Wildcats, three more corner kicks and matched NAU's two shots on goal in the first 45 minutes of action, yet Luciano's crew still trailed 2-0 at halftime.
Weber State has a long history of protecting its home turf as NAU has not won in Ogden since 2012. The Wildcats remain in control of the all-time series record with its 14th win this afternoon to Northern Arizona's seven total series wins. Aiming for a better second half, with perhaps a bit more luck on their side, the Lumberjacks by no means struggled to create opportunities, but could not get over their first-half scoring drought until it was too late. The Wildcats connected on a dagger of a goal to open up the second period and take a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Redshirt junior Missy Kettelkamp and redshirt freshman Carly Gamble combined for six of NAU's 14 total shot attempts (to WSU's 12) against the Wildcats while freshman forward Shelbie O'Connor and sophomore forward Madeline Waszak also accounted for two each. Senior forward Lindsay Doyle, now with a goal in back-to-back games, came through for the 'Jacks in the 87th minute to dodge a shutout by Weber State. Junior Meghan Dickmann finished the day with seven saves, tying her season best for the fourth time this season.
"We don't have an option to relax before heading into our next two road games," Luciano said. "The key is to get re-focused, figure out where our breakdowns are happening on film and push the intensity a little more in training to get really prepared for North Dakota and Northern Colorado next weekend."