Soccer bounces back with 2-1 win over NAU

(Source: David Patten)
Weber State University soccer player Mackenzie Harrison holds off a defender in a game against Northern Arizona University. The Wildcats defeated the Lumberjacks 2-1 Sunday.

In the middle of a three-game road stint, the Wildcats bounced back after their first conference loss with a 2-1 win over the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona University on Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats improved to a conference record of 3-1 and an overall record of 7-3-2, placing them in second place in the Big Sky behind the Portland State University Vikings, who are undefeated in conference play.

The first goal of the match came in favor of Weber State University, as Abbie Kennedy finished off a cross from Stacy Bair to put the Wildcats up 1-0 in the 32nd minute of play. It was Kennedy’s first goal of the season and Bair’s second assist.

The score stayed that way heading into halftime, but the Lumberjacks came back swinging in the 62nd minute as Emily Wadell of NAU collected the ball off of a rebounded shot and put it in herself to even up the score at 1-1, netting her first career goal as a Lumberjack.

However, WSU wouldn’t let the score be tied for long. In a bit of a role reversal, Mackenzie Harrison, who leads the Wildcat team in goals this season with five total, made a nice pass to Chansi Crompton, who leads the team in assists with four, to make the go-ahead goal. It was the first goal of the season for Crompton, and Harrison’s first assist.

“The team played really well today,” said WSU head coach Tim Crompton. “It was nice to see the girls bounce back after a disappointing result on Friday. Conference matches are difficult to win on the road, so any time you can come away with a victory is extremely satisfying.”

The Wildcats were cooking on both offense and defense. Ten of the Wildcats’ 13 shots were on frame, compared to five of the 11 shots on frame for the Lumberjacks.

“Defensively, we played very well at the back,” Coach Crompton said. “And we were very organized as a whole, which helped keep the pressure off of our goal.”

NAU head coach Andre Luciano said he believed the reason for the Lumberjacks’ inability to come out with a win was simply being tired.

“We looked fatigued throughout the entire game,” Luciano said. “We may have been emotionally drained from Friday night’s win, and the discipline has to be there to mentally prepare for the next game.”

The Lumberjacks were coming off of a narrow 2-1 win over Idaho State University, with the game-winning goal by Cierra Gamble coming in the 88th minute.

The Wildcats will finish this triplet of road play Saturday as they head to Pocatello, Idaho, to take on the Bengals of ISU, the same team NAU knocked off this past weekend. The Bengals are 2-1-1 in conference play and 5-6-1 overall, putting them in fourth place overall in the Big Sky. ISU’s other wins were over Eastern Washington University, which WSU defeated 3-0 at home, and at Southern Utah University, which owns the only conference victory over the Wildcats this season. WSU will then return home to face the first-place PSU Vikings on Oct. 17 at 3 p.m.