Heidmann Delivers on Senior Day
Oct. 18, 2015
BOISE, Idaho - In the final home game of her career, Brooke Heidemann stepped up when the Broncos needed her most. With the score tied in the 71st minute, Heidemann weaved through traffic and unleashed a rocket from 16 yards out that found the netting inside the left post. Her school-record-tying ninth game-winning goal gave the Broncos a 2-1 victory against Air Force Sunday, at Boas Soccer Complex.
"We're running out of words to describe her," head coach Jim Thomas said of Heidemann. "She's a special, special player. There's no way you would expect a player to do the things that that kid does. What a sign-off note that was. That was dropping the mic and walking out of the theater."
Heidemann has six goals on the year, all of them coming in conference play. She has scored in five of the last six outings and has tallied a point in six of Boise State's eight conference matches.
With the win, the Broncos (6-8-1, 4-4-0 MW) will go into the final three matches of the regular season in a tie for fifth place. The top six teams qualify for the Mountain West Championship in San Diego.
Boise State controlled the first half with Baylee Blaser doing most of the work at the top of the attack. Blaser and Heidemann each put a free kick on target only to see it saved. Eva Herrera had a bullet of a shot ricochet off the crossbar and the game went into halftime still 0-0.
Just over a minute into the second period, the Broncos' least likely scoring opportunity resulted in the game's first goal. Air Force controlled the ball in the penalty box after a long Boise State throw, but Heidemann pressed the defender. A clearance pass deflected off the Bronco midfielder to the middle of the box where the same Falcon defender was pressed by Hannah Smith. This time Smith jumped in the way of another clearance and the deflection sailed toward the net and over the outstretched arm of Air Force keeper Jennifer Hiddink. Smith's first collegiate goal put Boise State on top 1-0.
Air Force (4-11-1, 2-5-1 MW) tied the game just four minutes later. The Falcons used a free kick from the right wing to send a high, lofted ball into the box. It was initially cleared away, but a deflection sent it back in front of the goal and Meredith Reisinger punched it home from five yards away.
After tense moments on both ends of the field, Heidemann found the crease the Broncos needed. Addison Standlee took possession near midfield and had a bevy of Bronco runners to connect with. Standlee played a ball to her former high school teammate Heidemann, who opted to keep it and push toward the goal. After angling left with a couple of touches, she crossed into the box and put the ball on her right foot just in time to rip a shot before defenders converged.
"My first thought was to get in the pocket for Addy to pass me the ball," said Heidemann. "I was able to get a touch and get my shot off. When it went in the back of the net it was just a flood of emotion."
There was no shortage of emotion from the outset. All four Broncos honored on senior day started the match and played big roles, including goalkeeper Bailey Anderson making her third career start. Anderson made three saves and kept Boise State out of danger on numerous Falcon set pieces. "We threw her to the wolves essentially," said Thomas. "She had no game experience this season and we ask her to step up in one of the biggest games of the year. She was fantastic today protecting our goal."
Anderson had not played since suffering a season-ending injury in August 2014. The Snohomish, Wash., native is forgoing her final year of eligibility as she will earn her bachelor's degree in psychology this spring after just three years.
"It was nerve-wracking knowing that the back line would have to adjust to a new keeper, but their encouragement gave me the comfort and confidence to go out there and be my best," said Anderson. "Staying consistent is a big thing. Everyone has their ups and downs, but I just try to stay focused on what's ahead."
Boise State finishes the regular season with three games away from home. A trip to Wyoming (Oct. 23) and Colorado State (Oct. 25) will be followed by a game at Utah State (Oct. 30).
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