Broncos Suffer 1-0 Loss to Spartans
Oct. 12, 2014
BRONCO WOMEN'S SOCCER
BOISE, Idaho-- San José State put home a corner kick in the 60th minute and held on for a 1-0 victory Sunday, against Boise State. The Broncos (5-7-3, 2-4-0 MW) mounted a late push, taking seven shots and four corner kicks in the final 29 minutes, but could not answer.
The Spartans (4-7-3, 1-4-1 MW) controlled the middle 30 minutes of the game, putting three shots on goal in the final 15 minutes of the first half and three more in the first 15 minutes of the second half, culminating with the game-winning goal. Gabriella Stange took a corner kick from the left side, serving a ball across the box and 10 yards out from the goal. Claire Berkley rose above the Boise State defense and got her head to the pass, sending it back across the face of goal and just inside the left post.
"I felt like their goal was coming," said head coach Jim Thomas. "As the second half started we continued in the same lull that ended the first half. We had situation after situation to deal with. I think the goal was more a result of us having to defend so many set pieces in a row that finally we weren't able to defend one of them."
The goal capped a stretch of the match where the teams made minor changes to counter what each other was doing, but Thomas said it ultimately came down to effort. The Broncos' second-year head coach said San José State made subtle adjustments toward the end of the first half to negate some of Boise State's first looks. The Broncos made slight changes at halftime in response, but the Spartans continued to win the ball high up the field and create chances early in the second half.
"It's a good lesson for any player to learn," said Thomas. "You can have the technical or tactical information or ability, but you always have to highlight that with an effort and a passion to win a game of soccer. It doesn't matter how much you know or how much you're capable of doing, hard work will win out more often than not. They outworked us for a long time at the start of the second period."
Once the goal was scored, the tide turned. Boise State was the aggressor in the final 30 minutes of the match, when Spartan goalkeeper Zoe Makrigiannis made four of her five saves. Sophomore Hailey DeVries, a mainstay at center back for Boise State, moved up top to take advantage of her speed and ability to take on defenders. The move worked, as the Broncos created chances and won a number of corner kicks and free kicks with DeVries forcing the issue.
In the final 7:05, Boise State had four shots and four corner kicks. With six minutes left Mikhaila Bowden took a free kick from 45 yards away, sending it all the way to goal and forcing Makrigiannis to make her final save as she leapt and punched it over the crossbar before Bowden's shot could drop in the net. The Broncos had chances all the way to the bitter end. With less than 30 seconds to go, DeVries had one more run left down the right wing. As she lined up to send a cross to the back post she was unable to catch all of it and the ball rolled harmlessly in the box to end the match.
"You could see at the end this unreal Bronco push," said Thomas. All of a sudden there are runs coming out of places we hadn't seen and effort to win the ball back and corner kick after corner kick, free kick after free kick and opportunity after opportunity. At some point we have to look ourselves in the mirror and take ownership of the fact that we have to find a way to work through the ebbs and flows of the game and overcome personnel or fatigue issues- especially in our Sunday matches."
The Broncos, already playing without Baylee Blaser and Andie Hill, were without Bekah Carrasquer for both games of the weekend. Bailey Anderson was unavailable Sunday, and Janelle Flores was a late scratch from the starting lineup after an injury at the end of warmups. Midway through the first half Madi Campbell left the game and was unable to return.
"We got exposed for our lack of fitness and lack of depth personnel wise," said Thomas. "We just couldn't bring the fight to them. You've got a team in San Jose who is still motivated and working to build a really good foundation. They were able to fight through the ebbs and flows of the game and put together a very consistent effort. We were spotty in that area. At this level it's important for these guys to toughen up and work through that. There are 11 people out there and our expectation is for those 11 people to put forth every amount of energy they have into the game."
The loss of Flores meant redshirt sophomore Kylie Mascol was forced into action as the starting goalkeeper. It was Mascol's first appearance as a Bronco after spending her freshman year at Walla Walla Community College and redshirting last season. The Boise native made seven saves, including a sparkling effort in the 48th minute to keep the match tied. San José State sent a ball into the box from the right wing. One Spartan used her head to flick it on through the box to the head of Darlene Rodriguez who directed it back to the right post. Mascol, leaning toward the left post as she tracked the flight of the ball, sprung back across the goal and just got her fingertips to the ball enough to push it off the post.
"Kylie did well," said Thomas. "It's difficult. She has gone through the whole week and the whole warmup ready to support Janelle. Within minutes of the field being cleared following warmup, Janelle is pulled. To collect yourself emotionally, get yourself balanced and focused, I thought Kylie did as good a job as you could expect out of that situation. That's her first game at this level. She's an unbelievable striker of the ball, but didn't do that very well today. So I think you could tell that was nerves. Other than that I thought she managed her nerves very well."
Boise State will head back on the road next week with matches at New Mexico (Friday) and San Diego State (Sunday). The Aztecs are atop the conference at 6-0-0.
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