Mountain West Conference Soccer Schedule Announced
June 27, 2014
BOISE, Idaho--The Boise State women's soccer team has announced the 2014 conference schedule. The Broncos will play 11 conference matches this upcoming season and begin the slate on the road against Air Force and Colorado College. The new format features a 12 team, single round-robin format with travel partners. The Broncos will remain paired with Utah State. This format will feature a six-week schedule with the last match of the season against the travel partner. This year Boise State will play six home games and five away games, then reverse the next season.
"The coaching staffs and all of the administrations across the Mountain West have worked very hard over these past months to create a new and exciting product for our fans," said Boise State head soccer coach Jim Thomas. "I think we've achieved that with a new format where we will play 11 conference matches now with the addition of Colorado College, who are a perennial top-25 team. They have taken on and beaten the best teams in the country, so it will be exciting to add that caliber to the Mountain West. I think all of us will bear the fruits of an improved conference this year. We start off with a trip to Air Force (Sept. 26) and Colorado College (Sept. 28). It will be fun to see Colorado College at the start of the conference season and welcome them in."
Friday, Oct. 3 will be the first date Boise State fans can see the new-look Broncos against a conference opponent with a match against Colorado State. The Blue and Orange will host Wyoming at the Boas Soccer Complex two days later on Oct. 5.
"Then we return to Boise to play Colorado State and Wyoming," Thomas said. "This will be a tricky weekend because Colorado State will have much improved over the last 12 months. Bill Hempen has done a phenomenal job there recruiting and developing a squad there that's in their second year of existence. We will be excited to see the new version of them and Wyoming always offers a physical and up-tempo matchup for us so it will be exciting to have them here again." The Broncos will welcome the northern California teams, Fresno State (Oct. 10) and San José State (Oct. 12), to Boas Soccer Complex the following weekend.
"My good friend Lauren Hanson is taking over the helm at San José State," remarked Thomas. "Everybody will be excited to see what she brings to the table. The teams that I've coached against her in the past with her being at Oregon and Portland have been renowned for quality, pretty and attractive style of play. I'm excited to see her make those improvements to San José State and I think the conference will bear the fruit of her expertise."
Boise State will pack up for its second conference road trip of the year and head south to face New Mexico and San Diego State, Friday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct 19. The Sunday contest against San Diego State will be a rematch of the 2013 Mountain West Championship game, where the Broncos fell 1-0 to the Aztecs.
"We then go on arguably our hardest road trip of the year and travel to New Mexico and to San Diego State," said Thomas. "Obviously those teams have been at the top of the conference for several years and San Diego State is the bar that we're all trying to get up to. This trip will be good for us because it's going to be a prelude to the Mountain West Tournament at San Diego State at the end of the year. We can get down there and check out the facility, get used to being down there for a while and get comfortable in our surroundings."
The team will wrap up the road trip and return to the Treasure Valley to host Nevada in a split-weekend tilt on Oct. 24. After the matchup against the Wolf Pack, the Broncos will head to UNLV on Oct. 26 to face the Rebels on the road for the second-consecutive year.
"We will head to UNLV on Sunday, following playing Nevada at home on a Friday in our only split weekend of the year," Thomas said. "There will be a fair bit of traveling that weekend with two very tough opponents. UNLV had an interesting year last year; injuries, unfortunate results ended up with them having a record that was not reflective of how quality they were. Nevada offers a quality, physical opponent that will prepare you for any tournament you may play later in the year. So it's a good end to our double-header part of the Mountain West Conference.
In the final home match of the year, the Broncos will host the Utah State Aggies at the Boas Soccer Complex on Friday, Oct. 24.
"This year they will be coming to us as we went to them last year," explained Thomas. "Again, it's another team that's vastly on the improvement. Their incoming players are very good and the team and coaching staff showed across the course of conference play last year that they were developing a new style that was getting better and better as the year progressed. As they got into the conference tournament, they were a very different opponent than what we were used to seeing on tape at the start of the year. I'm excited to see what the staff there is doing and how the players are developing."
The 2014 Mountain West Conference Tournament will be held at San Diego State, Nov. 4-8. The coaches and conference agreed and adopted a new tournament format starting this year, where only the top-six teams will be invited to compete. The first and second ranked teams will get a bye in the first round and play immediately in the semifinals with the winners of the third/sixth and fourth/fifth ranked matchups.
"We are excited about this new and great format in that we will only be playing the top-six teams," said Thomas. "I think this offers us the chance to keep a higher RPI through conference play. It also really emphasizes the importance of finishing high up in the conference regular season matchups and will keep everyone competitive throughout the year."
"I think it's all lining up to be a really good Mountain West Conference season," said Thomas. "Thankfully we have six matches at home which will offer a regular opportunity for the Boise State faithful to come out, watch and support and get a taste of what the Mountain West is all about."
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