Brown, Heidemann Score in 2-0 Bronco Win
Oct. 24, 2014
BRONCO WOMEN'S SOCCER
"It's humongous for us," said head coach Jim Thomas. "So much of what we do is enhanced with energy. If we let the game lull it's easy for teams to back off of us and for us to back off of them, making the game a bit of a stalemate. I was super proud of our kids to bring their own energy today. We stayed the protagonist in the match, it led to us putting a lot of pressure on them and eventually a goal."
After going into the half without a goal, the Broncos (7-8-3, 4-5-0 MW) got on the board in the 62nd minute when Brown put home a rebound from the left corner of the six-yard box. It is the freshman's second goal of the season, both of which are game winners in conference play.
KT Clayton set up the opportunity with a long run down the left wing. Clayton gained control along the sideline and took on her defender all the way to the end line. Instead of settling for a corner kick, Clayton cut back to the middle, took two more touches into the box and ripped a shot. Her look was blocked, but Brown was in the right place at the right time.
"We made one small change to get KT up top," said Thomas. "We knew she could bring some emphasis to the attack and really force their defense to have to do something special to stop us. She's the one who changed the game and Dani Brown was the recipient of a goal because of KT's hard work." Thomas has long lauded Brown's ability to find the ball and fight for extra opportunities.
"It's something we've missed," said Thomas of Brown being sidelined with injuries during different parts of the season. "We've created a lot of opportunities where if we had a poacher-type forward, we might have a few more goals. She offers us a different dimension to our forwards with a lot of pace. She's a really good player for our Brooke midfielders to work off of."
Heidemann did not need to work off of anybody for the second goal, her sixth of the season. After a Nevada (4-13-1, 1-8-0 MW) tackle resulted in a yellow card, the Broncos had a free kick from 26 yards, just left of center in the 68th minute. Kelsey Nicassio and Heidemann lined up over the ball. At the whistle, Nicassio ran through, leaving it for Heidemann. The junior launched a twisting, knuckling line drive through the defensive wall, past the diving keeper and inside the far post, into the side netting.
The Broncos held a 15-8 advantage in shots, but Nevada had a 5-3 advantage in shots on goal. Boise State took 10 shots in the decisive second half and scored the only two it put on frame.
Flores made five saves for the Broncos, keeping a clean sheet for the fourth time this season and second-consecutive match. It is the first time Boise State has won consecutive matches since defeating Idaho (Sept. 5) and Idaho State (Sept. 7) in the same weekend.
The win keeps Boise State in a tie for seventh place and one point behind the all-important sixth spot with two matches to play. The top six teams in the regular season advance to the MW Championship Nov. 4-8, in San Diego.
"It keeps us in the hunt. That's the main thing for us right now is to keep our heads above water.
Air Force defeated Fresno State 4-0 Friday, keeping the Falcons in sixth place with 13 points. The loss for the Bulldogs means they fall off the pace with nine points. Meanwhile, UNLV defeated Utah State 1-0 to keep up with the Broncos at 12 points. Boise State travels to UNLV Sunday, for what is essentially an elimination game.
"It's a massive match," Thomas said, comparing its importance to that of the conference title match last season. "You have to keep the players calm and executing what we want to do. For our team this year, it's nice to have a reason for the emotion to be there. We don't have to find a reason to supply it ourselves. We have played really well in games that there are obvious reasons to get up for it. This one will be no different."
Utah State, who the Broncos host Oct. 31, to close the regular season, is still within reach at 16 points after its loss to UNLV. The Aggies remain tied with Colorado College after the Tigers lost to San José State. New Mexico beat Colorado State 1-0 to jump into third place with 17 points.
The Broncos and Rebels are scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. (PT) Sunday, in Las Vegas.
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