FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – A week after posting her third career 11-save game, junior Lauren Weaver eclipsed that mark, making a career-high 12 saves as the Northern Arizona soccer team battled Portland State to a 0-0 double overtime draw Friday night at Lumberjack Stadium. The scoreless affair pushed NAU’s record to 4-6-3 overall and 2-1-1 in the Big Sky for a total of seven conference points.
“Lauren was solid once again,” said head coach Andre Luciano. “Every week she steps up and becomes more of a leader in goal. She made the saves she was supposed to and kept us in the game, so I’m really happy with her performance.”
After freshman Demi Schmieder had two early shots in the game, Portland State corralled the Lumberjack offense for the most part of the first half, while applying pressure to the NAU backline. The Vikings held an 8-4 advantage in shots in the first 45 minutes, but could not find the back of the net in large part due to the play of Weaver, who made five first half saves.
It was more of the same in the second half, as the Vikings once again controlled the pace of the game while putting up 10 shots to NAU’s three. The visitors had their best scoring opportunity towards the ending of the period off two corner kicks. In the 83rd minute, Daniela Solis’ shot off the first Viking corner hit the cross bar. One minute later, a second PSU corner resulted in a flurry in front of the net, but Weaver made two diving stops to deny Megan Martin of two attempts to put Portland State on top.
After warding off the Viking attack, the Lumberjacks went into overtime with momentum on their side, but the two teams would play through the first extra period scoreless with sophomore Kelly Whelan getting up the only shot which sailed wide.
Both teams would have to settle for a tie following the final 10 minutes of the game without a goal scored. Junior Elinor Priest had one of two Lumberjack shots in the second overtime with an attempt wide of the goal in the 106th minute from the top of the box. Following Weaver’s 12th and final save of the game with 38 seconds remaining, NAU had one last ditch effort, but Schmieder’s shot went wide as time expired.
“Portland State is extremely dynamic going forward on the attack and we did a good job containing them as much as we could,” Luciano said. “We could’ve done a little better job going forward on the attack, but we were dangerous at certain moments. Portland State is a good team and it was another stalemate with them.”
The Vikings held both the advantage in shots, 19-10, and corner kicks, 5-1, in the game, but Weaver’s career game kept them off the scoreboard. She became the sixth goalkeeper in school history to notch at least 12 saves in a game.
Schmieder led the Lumberjacks on the attack with four shots, two of which came on goal. Priest and Whelan each had two shots and one on frame.
With the tie, the Lumberjacks are now in a tie with three other teams – Idaho State, Montana and Eastern Washington – for fourth place with seven points. They’ll look to move up in the standings when they return to the field on Sunday against Sacramento State. The Hornets are tied for first in the conference with Portland State with 10 points after defeating Southern Utah, 3-1, on Friday.
Kickoff for Sunday’s match at Lumberjack Stadium is set for 12 p.m.