Women’s soccer battles Northern Colorado to scoreless tie
Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Sierra posted a career-high seven saves and logged her first collegiate shutout, leading the JU women’s soccer team to a 0-0 tie with Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo. on Friday night.

Sierra, who had just four saves in 2010 as a reserve, nearly doubled that total in one game, including two crucial stops in the first overtime. Her seven saves surpassed her previous high of five saves set in her last game against UNC Charlotte.

JU moved to 1-1-1 on the season while Northern Colorado (0-2-1) saw its first non-losing effort of the year.

“Sarah made a couple of big plays along with our defenders playing solid all night,” JU head coach Brian Copham said.

The Dolphins pressured Northern Colorado, establishing an 11-3 edge in corners. Six of the seven total corners in the opening half went to JU, though Northern Colorado goalkeeper Kristin Salmien also had a strong game in matching Sierra’s seven saves. Senior midfielder Liz Fink paced the JU attack, firing a Dolphins-best three shots (including one on-goal). Junior midfielder Becca Massip added two shots.

JU’s defense presented accuracy problems for Northern Colorado’s shooters. The Bears fired 21 shots, though 11 were off-target and three were blocked. The ones that were potentially dangerous were stopped by Sierra, who made three of her saves after halftime.

Junior defender Arianne Heaton enjoyed a stellar homecoming. The Highlands Ranch, Colo. native played all 110 minutes. Fellow defender Alexandra Lee and midfielder Emily Culbreth were the only other Dolphins besides Sierra to not come out of the game for a substitute.

“I’m proud of the way we competed,” head coach Brian Copham said. “Even though we started slow, we played well after halftime. We are starting to see some things in the attack and that is a sign of the team coming together.”

The second leg of JU’s longest road trip of the season will come Sunday when the Dolphins will face Conference USA-member Colorado College at 2 p.m. Eastern Time in Colorado Springs, Colo.

-- By Brian Bohl