Bronco Soccer Ties Utah Valley
Aug. 31, 2014
BRONCO WOMEN'S SOCCER
OREM, Utah--Kelli Drobney netted her first goal of the season in the 86th minute to bring Boise State back from the brink of defeat Sunday, at Utah Valley as the Broncos and Wolverines finished in a 1-1 tie. Boise State (1-1-2) outshot UVU 13-6, including a 7-2 advantage in shots on goal.
"We outplayed them after coughing and sputtering a bit to start," said head coach Jim Thomas. "We made some changes at halftime and controlled the game very comfortably in the second half. Really we controlled it after the first 20 minutes, but had a slip up that allowed them to go ahead."
Drobney found the equalizer after a through pass from Brooke Heidemann in the center of the field. Heidemann slipped the ball through four Wolverine defenders to find Drobney just onside and sprinting toward the box. The sophomore ran onto the ball, took one touch and fired from the top of the box. Drobney kept the shot on the ground, sending it past the outstretched keeper and just inside the left post. It was Drobney's first goal of the season and Heidemann's first assist of the year. Heidemann, a junior, now has 28 points in her career, tied for 13th in school history.
UVU (1-2-1) took the lead in the 35th minute on a pass from the right side through the box that was poked inside the left post. The attacking opportunity came after Boise State had taken control. The Wolverines started a counter attack with a long ball over the top for a one-on-one opportunity. Bronco goalkeeper Bailey Anderson came out to stop the chance, but the ball could not be cleared and UVU eventually connected. The goal looked like it would hold up until the late stages of regulation.
"They get a goal against the run of play when we lose concentration and it puts you on your heels a bit," Thomas said. "We're a young team that's going to make those mistakes. The more we can limit those, the more we will be rewarded for the heart and effort this team has."
Moments after Drobney scored to tie the match, Boise State would face more adversity. An attack by UVU down the right wing ended with a collision on the ground between Anderson and Wolverine forward McKell Salmon inside the box. Salmon was issued a red card and Anderson was helped from the field after taking a shot to the mouth.
"That kid lost control," Thomas said. "She came in late showing her cleats. One left a mark in Bailey's chest and the other caught her in the mouth. Bailey's getting that fixed up at the hospital before we head home and we hope it is something she will be able to bounce right back from."
With no healthy goalkeepers available to take over, Heidemann moved from her midfield position to make her first-career appearance between the pipes. It was the first time she had put on goalie gloves since being an injury replacement as a junior in high school. Heidemann did not face a shot in her 21:22 in goal, but jumped on a handful of loose balls in the box and actually poked a shot over the crossbar before an offside call waved off the attempt.
"Putting Brooke back there was one of the emergency plans," Thomas said. "Brooke's one of the best athletes I've ever seen. Athleticism is not just running fast or a lot. It's coordinated movements, eye-to-hand, eye-to-foot, balance, agility. She has all of those things and well rounded. She's naturally going to go out there and do well and she took over like she belonged there."
"Brooke is the epitome of what a Bronco is," Thomas said. "This is a team full of girls willing to give everything they have for the team. Brooke is at the top of that list and nothing says that more than jumping in goal in a tie game because that's what we needed."
"I looked her dead in the eye and asked her what she thought," Thomas said. "Brooke looked me right back and said `I've got you.' When you have that confidence no one really has a doubt. Everyone backed Brooke and there was a lot of rallying from the team in the face of everything. They wanted to make sure the day wasn't a total loss."
Shannon Schueren put three shots on goal for Boise State, all coming in the furious second half. The Broncos put six shots on frame in the period, culminating with Drobney's goal.
Boise State trailed at the half for the second-straight match, and just the fifth time under second-year coach Thomas. This is the first time in those five matches the Broncos have salvaged a result out of a halftime deficit.
"We expend a lot of energy at the beginning of games trying to find the balance between attacking and defending," Thomas said. "We're going to be looking at some adjustments on a permanent basis. It's a matter of getting people in a little bit more familiar place so they can play a little freer and expansive."
The Broncos carried over their play from the second half and controlled possession during the overtime periods, but could not break through for the game winner.
"We've got enough talent to win a bag load of games, but they're young," Thomas said. "This team plays with so much togetherness. I really don't think I've ever been a part of something this special. The willingness to sacrifice and commit, we're going to find a way to make this click from a soccer side of things. They just keep have to turning out with the same passion and effort."
Boise State wraps up its season-opening five-match road trip Friday, at Idaho. The Broncos will open their home slate Sunday, against Idaho State (noon MT).
Watch a replay of the match
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