NAU soccer has eyes on Big Sky’s top spot
The NAU soccer team kicked off conference play last week and are now standing in third place at 1-0-1 in the Big Sky Conference, and they look to keep the ball rolling. With a 2-0 win over Weber State and a 0-0 tie with Idaho State last week, the Lumberjacks come home for their next two conference games, matched up against Sacramento State (3-6-1) and Portland State (4-7-1).
After losing to the Hornets of Sacramento State 2-1 last season, the Lumberjacks are looking for redemption and to protect their home field on Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. at Lumberjack Stadium.
“The Hornets are a good team, but this is home field — you never want to lose,” said senior defender Carolyn Savage. “It’s mainly pride for our team; the atmosphere is so much better at home. Everything is everything here.”
In last season’s meeting, Sacramento State took advantage of their larger field and kept the lady Lumberjacks spread out, which made defensive assignments difficult. Head coach Andre Luciano said the team, as well as the coaching staff, will be prepared going into Friday’s game.
“We noticed they made good adjustments in their midfield and really stretched us on the defensive side of the ball,” Luciano said. “We will do a better job with marking this time around, and we are at home, so we will play at our own pace as well.”
While hosting first-place Portland State on Oct. 17 at 11 a.m., NAU will try to stay unbeaten against the Vikings, dating back to their 1-0 victory this time last season. The atmosphere in this game should be nothing less than physical, as the Lumberjacks look to take over the top spot in the Big Sky Conference after this weekend.
“Portland has always been one of the tougher teams in conference,” Savage said. “And we are looking to make moves to the top of the conference standings, so look for this to be a rugged, grind-it-out type of game.”