The Lumberjacks traveled to Cheney, Washington on Sunday and took the loss 2-0 against the Eastern Washington University Eagles. NAU is playing exactly .500 with a 7-7-2 overall record and a 3-3-1 conference record. This is the Lumberjacks' sixth loss on the road while the Eagles are now on a five-game winning streak.
As soon as the game began, NAU pressured Eastern Washington's defense. Senior forward Mei-te Coco and junior forward Paige Maling both shot at the Eagles' sophomore goalie Kelsee Winston. Unfortunately for NAU, Coco's shot was saved by Winston and Maling's shot went wide right.
Less than 20 minutes into the game, the Eagles' offense was very aggressive and took four shots against NAU's junior goalkeeper Taryn Benham, who blocked two of the shots while the other two missed the goal. Seconds after Benham blocked a shot from freshman midfielder Riley Walkington, junior forward Taylor Matheny scored the Eagles' first goal of the game, her second goal on the season.
The Eagles continued to keep the ball on the Lumberjack's side of the field. Less than 10 minutes later, Matheny assisted junior forward Sariah Keister, scoring another goal for the Eagles, Keister's sixth goal of the season.
Down by two points in the first half, the Lumberjacks had no choice but to play more aggressive offensively and defensively. The Lumberjacks had 8 shots in the first half but were unable to get any past Winston, who had a total of 6 saves throughout the game. Despite taking several more shots against NAU, the Eagles were also unable to score again as Benham recorded 3 saves. The Eagles and Lumberjacks were closely matched in the second half, much more than the Eagles' dominating first half.
Edging the end of the match, it was a back-and-forth rally with neither team pulling ahead. After an anticlimactic second half, the Eagles completed the shutout win 2-0.
The Eagles advanced to second place in the Big Sky Conference, 5-0-1, which is almost identical to first place University of Montana's 5-0-2 conference record. Eastern Washington's overall record is now 8-5-2. NAU is now fifth in the conference, also ending its two-game winning streak.
NAU will match up against the Weber State Wildcats on the road Friday at Max Spilsbury Field. The Wildcats are ranked seventh in the Big Sky Conference and have one conference win and two overall wins on the season.