FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women’s soccer team concluded its non-conference schedule against Hawai’i at Lumberjack Stadium with a 1-0 loss in overtime. The Lumberjacks were able to hold Hawai’i scoreless for 97 minutes but in the 98th minute, Tiana Fujimoto was able to score off a Karli Look shot that went of the post. It was a physical game with Hawai’i committing 14 fouls and Northern Arizona with 12.
“Today’s game was very physical,” said senior forward Elinor Priest. “Coach picked non-conference games like these so it will prepare us for Big Sky play because it gets us in the mindset to battle.”
Head coach Andre Luciano was able to get some new faces and fresh legs in the game on Sunday, starting three freshman in Mattie Wojcik, Erin Discipulo and Ali Lixandru.
“We had to get some girls a final look to see what they could contribute during conference play,” said Luciano. “Some girls stepped up and gave us some good minutes, which gave us an honest assessment in terms of who they are as players.”
23 players from Northern Arizona’s squad received playing time against Hawai’i, allowing Luciano to give some players rest before Big Sky play begins next week.
The Lumberjacks finish non-conference play with a 4-2-3 record, one of the best records in school history. The Lumberjacks faced teams with many different styles of play that has Luciano and his squad ready for any type of game that they will face in the Big Sky.
“We have played every team that we could think of that would remind us of a Big Sky opponent,” said Luciano. “The physicality of these last two games is what is going to prep us the most for conference play. We were able to see players that are going to be able to contribute during conference play and give us quality minutes.”
The Lumberjacks will now rest up before they head to Cedar City, Utah for the Big Sky Conference opener against Southern Utah on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m.