Broncos Open Soccer Season at Home

What's Happening This Week: The Boise State women's soccer team will open the 2012 season by hosting the Holiday Inn Classic, Aug. 17-19 at the Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex. The Broncos will take on New Mexico State, Friday Aug. 17 at 6 p.m., before facing North Dakota State, Sunday Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. Idaho State rounds out the tournament field, but will not play Boise State.  Live stats will be available for all four tournament matches and live video will be provided via Bronco Vision for both Boise State matches, with subscription.

Ticket Information: Tickets can be purchased at the gate, $6 for adults, $4 four youth/seniors. This weekend Boise State is honoring our country's patriots. Any military, veterans, police, firefighters or first responders attending the tournament will receive the group rate ($4 for adults).

► Match 1 Preview - New Mexico State - Friday, Aug. 17 - 6 p.m.

• The Series: The two teams have each earned a win in the series, facing each other as members of the Western Athletic Conference in 2009 and 2010. Both teams won matches played at their home venues.

• Last Time: Boise State won the meeting in 2010 by a score of 6-0 on homecoming weekend. Shannon Saxton and Cheyenne Jones scored two goals apiece. Current members of the Bronco squad, Tylyn Hughes and Lauren Hickok each put away a goal as well.

• Scouting the Aggies: The Aggies are coming off a 10-8-3 season with nine of 11 starters still on the roster including leading goal scorers Yolanda McMillon and Katie Smith. This young program which started in 2009 is under the direction of second-year head coach Blair Quinn, who guided the Aggies to a 2-3-2 conference record in his first season and an eventual exit in the tournament semifinals.

► Match 2 Preview - North Dakota State - Sunday Aug. 19 - 2 p.m.

• The Series: The Broncos and Bison tied in the only matchup between the two programs.

• Last Time: The solo match between the two was in 2009 in Boise. After a scoreless first half, Cheyenne Jones put the Broncos on the board with a chip shot from 30 yards out in the 49th minute. That lead would stand until the 73rd minute when the Orange and Blue put one in their own net, tying the match. Despite having a 21-11 shots advantage, Boise State could only manage a 1-1 tie.

• Scouting the Bison: North Dakota State is coming off a 15-4-2 season during which they finished second in the Summit League with a 7-1-1 conference record. The Bison will be challenged in 2012 though after losing seven starters and 10 letterwinners. NDSU will look to first-year coach Mark Cook to lead a young squad back to the top of the conference ranks. Junior forward Katie Tallas will try to provide some offensive firepower after scoring six goals last season.

2012 Bronco Season Notebook

► Preseason Predictions - The Boise State women's soccer team was picked to finish sixth in the 2012 Mountain West Women's Soccer Preseason Poll. The Broncos received 18 points, finishing ahead of Air Force and newcomer Nevada. Boise State does have a trend of surprising conference opponents though, as the Broncos have finished higher than projected in four of the last six seasons. Two-time defending champion New Mexico was picked to repeat, garnering 46 points and five first-place votes. San Diego State was close behind with 44 points and two first-place votes.

► Broncos in season Openers - The last minute-loss to Montana this season makes Boise State is 6-7-1 in season openers, but the Broncos are 5-3 when the first game of the season is at home. In those eight games the orange and blue have outscored the competition 19-12.

► 2012 Schedule - Bronco fans will be excited for the 2012 season because their soccer team will play 10 of its 19 game schedule at home. Home tournaments make up six of those games while the Orange and Blue will also play for Mountain West matches at the Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex.

The Broncos have a 49-44-9 record against teams on the 2012 schedule, including an unbeaten record against four of the 19 teams.

► Fresh Faces - The 2012 class represents three different states, boasting three high school state champions and five Olympic Development Program participants. The Broncos will welcome Dominique Banks (Cypress, Calif.), Bekah Carrasquer (Portland, Ore.), Brooke Heidemann (Meridian, Idaho), Kelsey Nicassio (Alta Loma, Calif.), Whitney Peterson (Meridian, Idaho), Anna-Marie Popma (Tigard, Ore.), Cassidy Richmond (Maple Valley, Wash.), Kayla Tucker (Canyon Lake, Calif.) and Kelsey Witker (Tacoma, Wash.) to this year's squad.

"This class is very athletic and very experienced," Lucas said. "They have some big-time games under their belts and they all fit a need that we have. We're looking forward to them coming in right away and helping us get better."

Lucas and the Broncos welcome two members of the class from the Portland-Metro Area, a strong pipeline for Boise State over the past several years. The Orange and Blue currently have five members who hail from the area.

► Bronco Season Preview - The 2012 Boise State soccer team is poised for a tournament run this season with an athletic mix of experience and youth. After finding its bearings in the new Mountain West last season, the Broncos will look to improve on its 2-4-0 conference record and 8-11-1 overall record from a year ago. Though its record left room for improvement, the team was not unsuccessful. The Broncos finished fifth in the final conference standings and made it to the first round of the Mountain West Tournament where they fell to UNLV, 2-0.

The trend in recent years for Boise State has been a growth in speed and athleticism, with this year's team showing no exception. Head Coach Steve Lucas says he plans to use these new skill sets but to continue the Broncos' style of play, coveting possession and connecting passes.

"We're a team that wants to keep the ball and that is never going to change," Lucas said. "Our athleticism and ability to do that has increased which is great. We want to be able to play faster while still keeping the ball."

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