Soccer Hosts Busy Weekend
March 29, 2017

BOISE, Idaho - Boise State women's soccer continues its spring season this weekend, hosting a slew of matches at the Boas Soccer Complex (1507 S Oakland Ave, Boise, ID 83706).

The Broncos will play Saturday (April 1) at 1:30 p.m. against Gonzaga, and Sunday (April 2) at 10:30 a.m. against Idaho. Three neutral-site matches will also be played at Boise State's home field. The full schedule is available below.

Admission is free for all five matches.

Saturday, April 1
Noon - Idaho vs Northwest Nazarene
1:30 p.m. - Boise State vs Gonzaga
3 p.m. - Idaho vs College of Idaho
4:30 p.m. - Gonzaga vs Northwest Nazarene

Sunday, April 2
10:30 a.m. - Boise State vs Idaho

Catch up on Bronco soccer with head coach Jim Thomas' Q&A session below:

What areas are you focusing on during the spring season?
"There are two main parts that are on top of one major foundation. The two main parts are changing to a more pressing style of defense, and an interchangeable attack. What we found at the end of the fall was that we were asking our team to do something that didn't fit their personality overly well. We've got some players who want to run. They want to hunt, they want to work and they want to get after the game. We don't want to put the reins on these colts who want to get up and go."

"We have a great goal scorer in Raimee (Sherle), and the story is out on her really early in her career. As much as she has continued to improve, other teams are going to be trying to stop that kid. We need to be more than what she is. In the past, scoring goals has been a tremendous an issue for us. Having a defensive system that prevents goals is one thing- and we've shown we are good at that- but we didn't have a defensive system that augmented goals and we didn't have a plethora of goal-scoring players. The defense is supposed to open the game up a bit more and open up some goal-scoring opportunities. The interchangeable attack is supposed to get more people into more goal-scoring situations."

"The underlying foundation is the fitness component. We've basically doubled or tripled the amount of work a lot of these guys are going to have to do out there. They have been layering in level after level of the fitness component and we're really happy with where we've gotten in that area."

How important is it to have the spring competitions mixed in with the offseason practices?
"Spring games are way more important than a lot of people give them credit. We have a competitive spring and we're playing them more like fall games. We haven't trained through the game with all the conditioning and lifting, we've given them more of a phasing down and building back into the game, and we've tried to win them. It's important for us, as we build a legacy of competing all the time, that we enable our team the best opportunity to win games. We've been pretty prideful in keeping with that and taking the games really seriously."

You're entering your fifth season, you have nine starters back from last year, do you feel a difference this spring with the program and the culture being more in place than past spring practices?
"I can't emphasize that enough. This is the first offseason in my time here that we haven't had to address an area of our team from scratch. It's a slow roll not only getting the right people in place, but then getting them experience. Being able to carry over from year to year what you've done, it takes a little bit of time to push that rock down the hill. I think we did that this year. It was a tough year for us, but it was a really necessary year to turn the corner fully. This year we've seen a team that's more motivated, more together, more responsive. They're pulling us and we're pushing behind, as opposed to the coaching staff having to pull them along. We've gone through a full metamorphosis in that area."

"We've noticed a massive difference there. The academic side of the team is so established now that it's not something we have to re-establish or introduce a new program. We've established that component. The community service is now being led far more by the players taking the opportunity and doing something with their lives. From a physical standpoint we're so much more capable. So there's really nothing we're having to start over. It's a very different spring this year and we're excited for it."

The trip to Spain is right around the corner, how is that setting up?
"We're wrapping up the final fundraising pieces and finalizing schedules. We've made a couple of small changes that will allow us to spend more time in the Basque Country. We're ready. After this weekend it will be time to re-focus a little bit and get back to the educational pieces of this trip and really get at what we can take away from it culturally. We're going to start doing some of those things here with the huge Basque community in Boise and immerse ourselves and understand the culture and country we will be getting ourselves into."

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