Broncos Blank Rebels, 2-0
Oct. 26, 2014

Final Stats | VIDEO: Jim Thomas Postgame Interview

Broncos Blank Rebels, 2-0

Peter Johann Memorial Field | Las Vegas
Boise State Boise State Broncos   UNLV Rebels UNLV
Boise State
 Madi Campbell 33' Kayla Tucker 52'      Boise State


LAS VEGAS-- Boise State women's soccer put itself in position to make the field of six at the Mountain West Championship with a 2-0 win Sunday, at UNLV. The Broncos (8-8-3, 5-5-0 MW) have won three-straight matches to climb to sixth place in the conference standings with one match to play. Kayla Tucker scored three points in the match on a goal and an assist. Madi Campbell was on the other end of Tucker's assist for the first goal of her career, the eventual game winner.

During the winning streak the Broncos have blended a high-octane offense and stout defense, earning 2-0 decisions in each match. Janelle Flores has played in goal for all three matches and Flores' third-straight clean sheet extends her shutout streak to 321:25.

Boise State and UNLV (9-8-1, 4-6-0 MW) entered the match tied for seventh place in the conference and one point behind Air Force for sixth. The Broncos' first win in the all-time series against the Rebels (1-6-1), coupled with an Air Force loss puts Boise State in the driver seat for the final spot in the MW Tournament. UNLV was eliminated with the loss.

"The guys were warriors," said head coach Jim Thomas. "It was really hot out there today. Those are intense games where both teams have the same thing on the line, fighting for a chance if something goes your way. I think when you have that kind of tension it's difficult to build them up, keep them calm and still execute. They did a marvelous job bringing lots of energy, matching emotion and still being tactically clean."

Campbell put the Broncos on the board in the 33rd minute, putting an exclamation mark on a dominant first half. Campbell raced down the center of the field as Tucker carried the ball wide on the right wing. She drove a ball to the penalty area where Campbell leapt for a header. The freshman connected from 14 yards, sending a shot to the left side of the goal, past the keeper. Boise State outshot UNLV 10-1 in the period, including five on goal.

Tucker was on both ends of countless attacks for the Broncos. She created opportunity after opportunity crossing from the wings, while also taking three shots. In addition to her goal, Tucker put two shots off the crossbar. The assist was her team-leading fourth of the season.

In the 38th minute Tucker appeared to extend the lead when she put her foot on a cross in front of the net and bounced it off the underside of the bar. The linesman ruled the ball did not cross the goal line. Just seconds before halftime she had another look miss by mere inches. A cross from the right corner was flicked to the middle of the box where Tucker put her head to it. The shot glanced off the crossbar and over the top of the net.

The goal Tucker finished came in the 52nd minute on a counter attack. The Bronco defense stood tall as UNLV pressed. After a threatening pass ricocheted out to the top of the box, Shannon Schueren found Brooke Heidemann in the midfield. Heidemann turned toward goal with Tucker on her right. The forward made a run in front, through the middle. Heidemann bought time, pushing forward and forcing the defense to make a decision. After a few touches, she sent a through ball for Tucker to run on to toward the left corner of the box. Tucker took a touch and ripped a shot to the right post. This time it stayed below the crossbar and sailed to the back of the net for her second goal of the season.

"Tucker is always great," said Thomas. "She's just one touch away from exploding. She's been brilliant all year. She does a lot of what we back home call `donkey work.' I'm so pumped for her; she does so much for our team on and off the pitch. Certainly the way she defends and the skill she brings in the attack, to finally see her get a reward for that, hopefully that's the floodgate opening for her."

The assist was Heidemann's third of the season to go with six goals for a team-best 15 points. In conference play she has five points on two goals and an assist.

Defensively, Flores did not do it alone. Senior defender Mikhaila Bowden halted nearly every attack UNLV(9-8-1, 4-6-0 MW) had before it could result in a shot. Despite pressing in the second half, the Rebels got off only six shots. Bowden has been winning balls from opposing attackers for years and Sunday, broke Boise State's all-time record for career minutes played. She played the entire match and became the first Bronco in school history to eclipse 7,500 minutes played.

"One thing Mikhaila does so well is she senses the moment," said Thomas. "When things get stretched, we get tired, the other team has chances she squashes them quickly. She was marshalling the whole thing from the back. She broke the record today, very proud of her on a personal level. It's very rare you see someone plkay the amount of minutes she has. It's just a great example of what she is for our team. In every single facet she's the spine, she's our backbone."

Bowden and fellow senior Shannon Schueren will be honored when Boise State hosts Utah State Friday, in the regular season finale on Senior Day. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. (MT) at Boas Soccer Complex. The Broncos can clinch the sixth and final spot in the Mountain West Championship with a win. The Aggies have assured themselves a spot in the conference tournament.

» «