BSC Soccer Tourney: NAU and ISU Advance, UM Plays ISU Today


Northern Arizona and Idaho State won quarterfinal matches Thursday at South Campus Stadium in Missoula to advance to the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference soccer tournament.

The No. 3 Lumberjacks (10-5-4) held off No. 6 Eastern Washington (8-9-0) in the opening quarterfinal, 3-2. NAU will face No. 2 Portland State Friday at 11 a.m.

No. 1 Montana will face the Bengals at 2 p.m. Friday. No. 5 ISU (9-8-1) moved on with a 2-1 double-overtime victory over the No. 4 Bears (10-9-2) behind a pair of goals from the Big Sky’s new career scoring leader, Amanda Ellsworth.

Portland State and Northern Arizona played to a 1-1 draw in their regular-season match at Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sept. 26. Montana defeated Idaho State 3-1 at South Campus Stadium on Sept. 28.

In Thursday’s opening quarterfinal, Northern Arizona built a 3-1 lead through the opening 52 minutes and survived Eastern Washington’s comeback bid.

Savannah Hoekstra scored in the 83rd minute to bring the Eagles within one, but Lumberjack goalkeeper Natalie Gilbertson made three second-half saves and six for the match as NAU won its first tournament game since 2010.

In Thursday’s second quarterfinal, Ellsworth put the Bengals up 1-0 in the 55th minute. The goal was the 37th of her career and her 83rd point.

She took over the top spot in the Big Sky annals from Montana’s Heather Olson (1997-2001), who scored 36 goals, and Northern Arizona’s Holly Jones (1998-2001), who totaled 81 points.

There was little time for celebration, though, because just 14 seconds later Northern Colorado evened the score on an unassisted goal by Rebecca Lancia.

The teams played through a scoreless first overtime, and Ellsworth, the Big Sky Conference Offensive MVP, ended the match at 101:20 when she headed in a corner kick. It was Ellsworth’s third career tournament goal.

Montana Sports Information