Boise State Defeats Fresno State 2-1
Sept. 22, 2017
FRESNO, Calif. – Boise State (6-3-1, 1-0 MW) kicked off the Mountain West season with a win on Friday night, taking down Fresno State (5-3-1, 0-1 MW) by a score of 2-1 at the Bulldog Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium. Baylee Blaser scored on a penalty kick in the 19th minute and Raimee Sherle found the game-winning goal in the 79th off an assist from Falon Miller.
The game-winning goal gives Sherle nine for her career – tying the school record as just a sophomore. The victory is the first road win at Fresno State since 2009 and the first road win in a conference opener since 2010 for the program.
In addition, the 6-3-1 record and the 19 points are tied for the second-best 10-game start to a season in program history. The team was also 6-3-1 at this juncture in 2008. The best start came in 2005 (6-2-2, 20 points).
“It’s big to get one here against Fresno State,” head coach Jim Thomas said after the game. “It’s nice to come out on top, and most importantly, we got three points. That’s the most important thing for our coaching staff, our players and our entire program. A road win against a team of that caliber that had won four games in a row coming in is a really nice sign for us.”
Boise State was able to neutralize the Fresno State offense to just 14 shots – five of which were on goal. The two squads traded turns being the more dangerous team throughout the evening, but in the end, the Broncos were able to capitalize on their opportunities.
“They are a really good team,” Thomas said on Fresno State. “They are very talented and exceptionally deep which allows them to maintain their energy throughout matches.”
Both teams settled into the game for the first 15 minutes, and it was the Broncos who were able to find the scoring column first. Sherle was taken down as she cut into the box with possession of the ball, giving Boise State a penalty kick.
Blaser calmly drilled the PK in the lower left corner of the goal to give the Broncos the 1-0 advantage. The goal is Blaser’s fifth of the season and 15th of her career – moving her into a tie for seventh in the school record book.
Fresno State answered later in the 33rd minute off a corner kick where the ball was immediately played to the top of the box where Anna Crawford hit a low, stinging shot through traffic where Janelle Flores was unable to make the diving save.
Boise State went on to take three more shots in the next 10 minutes to close out the half, but the match remained tied at 1-1 at the conclusion of the first 45 minutes.
The Broncos avoided a couple close calls in the beginning of the second half when Fresno State logged a handful of corner and free kicks, but the Boise State defense held and maintained the 1-1 game.
The Blue and Orange would pull ahead for good in the 79th minute when Miller and Sherle finally connected on a ball they had been working all game. Just past midfield, Miller sent a looping ball to the top of the box where Sherle would corral it. With a Bulldog defender draped on her, the sophomore muscled her aside and gathered for a right-footed shot that snuck past the keeper and ricocheted off the left post to make it a 2-1 game.
Sherle also has five goals on the season and a team-best 12 points.
Boise State almost tacked on another in the final 10 minutes with Sherle taking two more shots on goal and McKenna Kynett sending a shot off the cross bar.
“I think we have been in the situation enough times to where we’re now starting to operate calmly,” Thomas said on the Broncos’ composure in the last 10 minutes. “We have been on both the right and wrong end of it so far this season, but now we’re keeping our cool and understanding how to handle things.”
Fresno State scrambled to make some last-minute substitutions in an effort to spark a goal, but the Broncos were able to negate the moves and hold on for the 2-1 win.
Flores tallied four saves in just the second multi-goal game of the season for the Broncos.
Boise State will continue the road trip with a match on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. (MT) at San Jose State.
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