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Lumberjacks Edge Lady Flames, 1-0
With the setback, Liberty drops to 0-2 on the young season. Northern Arizona improves to 2-0-1, the best three-game record to start a season in the history of women's soccer at NAU. The contest was the first-ever for the Lady Flames in the state of Arizona.
A physical contest from the outset, the first half ended in a 0-0 draw, as both teams exchanged scoring opportunities throughout the opening half. Early in the half, Rachel Hetrick (Sr., Fr., Grantville, Pa.) took the first three Liberty shot attempts, her best opportunity coming in the opening minutes of the contest on a shot which forced Lumberjack goalkeeper Liz Winkelblech to make a save.
Later in the half, Liberty keeper Ashley Nyholt (Fr., Brampton, Ont.) made several stops in a quick sequence of attempts by Northern Arizona around the match's 32nd minute. Off of a corner kick, Nyholt denied a header by Lumberjack midfielder Rebekah Schmidt and then corralled a shot off the rebound by midfielder Mia Quinn.
Northern Arizona held a 7-6 advantage in shots in the evenly played half.
The second half saw much of the same, with shot opportunities at minimum. Neither squad was able to get off a shot opportunity in the period until the 71st minute. Off a corner kick by Hetrick, Heather Bowling (So., MF, Waxhaw, N.C.) was able to head the ball towards the net, but her attempt went high.
On the ensuing Northern Arizona possession, forward Karri Currier sent an arcing pass into the box. Midfielder Brenna Boies controlled the ball and fired a shot which was blocked out to Tai Powers. The midfielder gathered the rebound and placed the ball in the lower right-hand corner of the net for the contest's lone goal at 73:50, putting the Lumberjacks up, 1-0.
Northern Arizona then held off two corner kick opportunities and a shot by Mallory Neff (MF, Jr., Sunbury, Pa.) in the 87th minute for the 1-0 win.
Both defenses had strong nights with Northern Arizona allowing only nine shots (two on goal) and Liberty permitting 12 (five on goal).
Lady Flames' netminder Nyholt had four saves on the evening, while Winkelblech made two stops in the Lumberjack net. The Northern Arizona goalkeeper has not allowed a goal in 270 minutes, a program first.
Depsite the physical play, the fouls were 8-7, with Liberty having one more than the Lumberjacks.
Hetrick tied for the game-high in shots, with four in the contest. Fellow Lady Flame Neff added two. Schmidt had a four shots and Karri Currier added three for the Lumberjacks.
Liberty squares off with UC Irvine in the third game of the Third Annual La Quinta Inn & Suites High Altitude Tournament, Sunday afternoon. Match time at Lumberjack Stadium is set for 2:00 EST.