November 5, 2010

Bears fall 1-0 to Lumberjacks in Big Sky semis

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – One of the best seasons in recent history for the Northern Colorado women's soccer program came to an end Friday evening at the hands of the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks.

In the semi-finals of the Big Sky Tournament, the Bears fell 1-0 to the Lumberjacks, the exact score of their regular season matchup just a week ago.

Similarly to the way the first match went, neither team was able to put across a goal in the first 45 minutes of action. Northern Arizona did hold the advantage however in shots on goal, getting three shots on target compared to just one for the Bears in the first half.

In the 58th minute, the Lumberjacks finally broke the deadlock with a Jenna Samora goal, her fifth of the year. The score came off a corner kick from Brenna Boies. Samora's goal proved also to be the only shot on goal Northern Arizona would get in the second half.

Despite taking 12 shots, four of those being on goal, in the second half, the Bears could not push across the equalizer. The loss dropped their final record to 10-6-3.

Kimmie Feidler led the team with three shots and goalkeeper Kirstin Salminen made four saves on the evening.

"I am proud of the way the girls played today," said Northern Colorado head coach Tim Barrera. "We put NAU under a lot of pressure, we just couldn't find a goal. They made a great play to score, Samora's finish was really good."

Although the loss ends the Bears' season, they have a lot to look back on. Their ten wins is the most since 2002 and this year marks just the second time the team has qualified for the Big Sky Tournament.

Northern Colorado also had a school-record four players named to All-Big Sky teams, including the first two first-teamers in school history. Sophomore Danielle Birdsall was also named the league's Offensive MVP, another first for the Northern Colorado program.

With a majority of the starters coming back next year, the Bears will be looking to build off this successful season and have an exciting 2011 campaign.