Drobney Provides Dramatics in Bronco Win
Oct. 10, 2014

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Boas Soccer Complex | Boise, Idaho
Fresno State Fresno State Bulldogs   Boise State Broncos Boise State
Boise State
 Own Goal 83'   Click the links for video highlights! --->    Own Goal 57', Kelli Drobney 90'  Boise State

BOISE, Idaho-- It was déjà vu all over again. Boise State and Fresno State met in a women's soccer match Friday, and another thriller broke out. Kelli Drobney scored with 14 seconds left to lift the Broncos to a 2-1 victory at Boas Soccer Complex after either side allowed an own goal in the second half. The last time these two teams met was last season in the Mountain West Championship semifinals. Boise State used a 109th-minute goal to beat the Bulldogs and advance to the title match.

The victory Friday may not have set up an immediate shot at the MW crown, but it keeps the Broncos in the hunt for one of the coveted spots in the conference tournament. This year, six of the 12 teams will advance to the tournament in San Diego. Boise State, now 5-6-3 overall and 2-3-0 in MW play, is looking to play its way in with six matches left in the regular season. Fresno State, who entered the day on a two-match winning streak, fell to 3-11-0 and 2-3-0 in MW play.

"This is huge for us," said Boise State head coach Jim Thomas. "The season has been dangling out there for us to grab hold of or to let it slip away. Today, with 14 seconds to go, we clasped with two hands and pulled it back."

Drobney's dramatic goal was set up by a series of connecting passes in the midfield with the clock ticking down. Shannon Schueren tapped the ball outside to Kayla Tucker on the right wing. Tucker sent a long ball over the top of the Fresno State defense, switching fields to the left edge of the 18-yard box to find Madi Campbell making a long run to the box. Campbell quickly gathered and sent it back to the middle where Drobney was waiting. With little time to spare, the sophomore forward lined up a one timer with her left foot and tucked it inside the right post. Tucker and Campbell both earned assists on the play.

"It was a cross over the top that went back side over everyone," said Drobney. "Madi was able to get on the end of it before it got outside the 18. She brought it back across and I was able to get a good foot to it and put it away."

The goal is Drobney's second of the year. With a flair for the dramatic, her first goal came in the 87th minute at Utah Valley to tie the match and force overtime in what would turn out to be a 1-1 draw.

Fresno State held the attacking advantage in the first 20 minutes, but a number of dangerous crosses and two corner kicks went begging as the Bulldogs finished the first half without a shot attempt. In fact, the Bulldogs took just one shot in the match, coming during a scrum in the box in the 49th minute that was sent wide of Boise State goalkeeper Janelle Flores. It is just the third time in Boise State history holding an opponent to one shot attempt, including earlier this year in the season opener against Drake.

From the 20th minute on, Boise State controlled much of the game and had ample opportunity to take a lead in the middle of the first half and early in the second. It took a bit of fortune to eventually take the lead in the 57th minute.

Both own goals were scored as a direct result of a throw in deep in the defending team's end. Boise State struck first as Kelsey Nicassio heaved a toss into the penalty area from the right sideline. The ball slightly deflected off Fresno State's Fanny Johansson in the middle of the box and trickled toward goal, rolling just inside the left post.

With about 15 minutes to play, the Bulldogs mounted an offensive surge. Fresno State earned a corner kick and multiple deep throws. In the 83rd minute Ariana Holmes, the 2013 MW Freshman of the Year who is renowned for her big foot and huge throws, whipped a throw to from the left sideline to the near post. In a sea of bodies, the ball deflected off of Boise State's Hailey DeVries and around the near post to tie the match.

"We knew that they would come in with a threat of a long thrower," said Thomas. "They've scored a lot of goals off of it. We have a kid who's pretty darn good at it too, so we thought we'd fight fire with fire. Any time you put the ball in there it's difficult to clear and you never know what can happen. Sometimes the ball finds a way to end up in the back of the net and it did twice today."

The Bulldog tally was the first own goal conceded by Boise State this season. It was also an own goal that allowed Fresno State to tie last year's postseason match before KT Clayton scored the double-overtime winner.

The Broncos leaned on that experience and battled to the final minute to produce the game winner.

"It's frustrating when we go down a goal or fall into a tie," said Drobney. "But we've been there before, especially this year. Once that goal went in we were ready. We knew what we needed to do."

Drobney helped Boise State finish what it started and get the result the box score said it earned. The Broncos outshot the Bulldogs 14-1, including a 9-0 edge in the first half. The own goals do not count as shots, but do go down as shots on goal faced by the goalkeepers. Boise State put six on target, including the own goal.

The win sets up another important match Sunday, at home against San Jose State (3-7-3, 0-4-1 MW) which dropped its match Friday, at Utah State. Kickoff is scheduled for noon (MT).

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