Stacy keeps Alaska soccer pipeline flowing to Northern Arizona
Aubrey Stacy of Fairbanks wasn’t surprised to find out that she will be the fifth Alaska woman since 2011 to play soccer at Northern Arizona University. If anything, it validated her decision.
“We do have the talent to produce Division I players and Flagstaff is a great place for Alaska kids,” she said. “NAU is a great school with great facilities. Flagstaff is beautiful and I really love it here.”
Stacy is determined to do her part to keep the Alaska pipeline flowing to NAU. Of the five Alaskans to play soccer for the Lumberjacks over the years, she is the only one from Fairbanks.
“Flagstaff is a lot like Fairbanks in some ways – small community, everyone knows everyone,” she said. “I’ve been asking some girls in Fairbanks, ‘Hey if you wanna come down to the soccer ID camp, I can introduce you to coaches.’ I really do want to help provide opportunities for young athletes who are in Alaska who could potentially want to come play college soccer.”
The recent West Valley High graduate comes to NAU on the heels of a sensational high school career that saw her score 47 goals and rack up 17 assists with the Wolfpack.
Stacy, 18, was named Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year as a senior but had her final season cut short after tearing the ACL in her left knee at the state tournament.
“I have been recovering. I had surgery about seven weeks ago and my PT is going great,” Stacy said. “I’m getting full range of motion and everything. Right now, I’m just trying to focus on maintaining my muscle mass, so I can come back even stronger.”
Stacy will sit out this season as a medical redshirt but has remained involved with her new team.
“I attend every single practice,” she said. “Obviously, it is hard seeing the girls practice and everything because I would love to be out there with them, but I have an amazing support system with this team and staff.”
“I really do think that I draw a lot of my strength from their support when it comes to my recovery.”
Stacy has stayed positive by staying involved.
“I’m still doing team events,” she said. “We actually just went to an event called ‘Meet the Jacks’ where a lot of sports teams showed up. It’s a fun little thing because Flagstaff is such a small city, it’s very much a college town. Residents will go to every single college game no matter the sport, so we have a lot of supporters here. I met some kids, who were soccer fans. It was just overall a really good time.”
Stacy will be the fifth Alaska high school star in the last decade to play college soccer for the Lumberjacks of the Big Sky Conference, joining Carolyn Savage out of Dimond, Sarah Tarver from Juneau, Haleigh Van Allen of Service and Malia Lyken from Dimond.
Together, the group of Alaskan scored 19 goals combined – six by Savage, five by Tarver, and four apiece from Van Allen and Lyken.
Stacy looks to continue the legacy of Lumberjacks’ goal scorers from Alaska.
“I play whatever position my coaches need me to play, but I would like to play somewhere attacking wise; midfield or even front three,” she said. “I was recruited to be an attacker, so I’m assuming I’m still going to be an attacker.”
The 5-foot-7 Stacy is an impact player – durable and dynamic.
“I enjoy attacking because of the sheer thrill,” she said. “You get a ball down the sideline and you’re in a footrace with a defender next to you, it’s really just very energetic. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to score a goal and put your team up.”
As much as Stacy wants to score goals, she wants to earn her degree even more. She will major in Public Health with a minor in Community Health.
“Being a student-athlete, the student part comes first,” she said. “I didn’t go out looking for a D1 school. I wanted to play college soccer, but I really didn’t care if it was D1 or not. I wanted to be comfortable on the campus and wanted to focus on academics more than athletics.
“I wanted to find a school that I would want to go to regardless if I played soccer or not.”