FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – For the first time since 2001, the Northern Arizona Women’s soccer team starts the season off 2-0 after defeating Lamar in their home opener by a score of 3-2. After being tied 0-0 at halftime, the Lumberjacks had an offense explosion in the second half scoring three goals in 18 minutes. Senior Jordan Stenger started it off in 67th minute with a strike from 30 yards out, scoring her first career goal in her last home opener.
“It was such an amazing experience,” said Stenger. “It was great to come out with three goals and we need to carry that throughout the season.”
In less than ten minutes after Stenger’s goal, freshman Lindsay Doyle also got her first career goal in this game as well scoring in the 76th minute off a header into the right hand corner of the goal from Savannah Berry to put up the Lumberjacks up by two goals.
Sophomore Haley Wingender was able to get into the scoring mix late in the second period when she beat her defender one-on-one, which led to her putting the ball into the back of the net.
Throughout the entire preseason, head coach Andre Luciano has been preaching that the team will score goals by committee; well, in the first two games, four goals have been scored by four different players.
“That is the mark of a balanced team,” said Luciano. “When you have multiple players scoring goals, it takes the pressure off of one single player and makes us look less predictable.”
Lamar made a late push scoring two goals in less than two minutes from Kimmy Albeno and Jennifer Yacuta who both had their second goals on the season. Northern Arizona survived Lamar’s comeback and was able to win their home opener behind a great crowd at Lumberjack Stadium despite heavy rain.
“The crowd was awesome, they gave us that lift this game,” said Luciano. “We moved the benches to get closer to the stands so we could hear the crowd and engage with them and they were awesome.”
The Lumberjacks get a few days off here in Flagstaff before they head back on the road back to California as they face CSU Bakersfield and UC Riverside starting Thursday, Aug. 30.