Soccer Preview - Part 2: A look at each position...
Boise State's soccer team enters it's 10th season this fall. Following is a position-by-position preview on what to expect from the Broncos this year.
Previewing The Bronco Goalkeepers
The Broncos enter their 10th season looking for a goalkeeper to step in and replace Kim Parker who graduated last year. Their are two candidates in 2007 to become the third fultime starter in program history. Two Boise products senior Michaela Morrison and redshirt sophomore Jennifer Burns will battle for the job during two-a-days. Boise State has been solid in goal since the program’s inception in 1998. The question in 2007 is, who’s turn is it to take control of the net.
Senior to be Michaela Morrison has shared time in goal with Parker the last two seasons. The Boise native has quality experience in goal for the Broncos and a good career goals against average at 1.33. That would be a school record if she had played the 2,000 minutes needed to qualify. In three seasons, Morrison has made 100 saves on her way to posting a 8-5-3 record in goal for Boise State.
Actually, no one is really new this year. Jennifer Burns redshirted as a sophomore last season but has practiced with the team for a year. She is a talented transfer from Seattle Pacific University and will push hard for the starting position this season. The sophomore is a Boise native out of Capital High. She spent her freshman season leading the SPU Falcons to a 20-1-4 overall record, a conference championship, a NCAA regional title, and a berth in the NCAA Division II national title match before they lost in overtime 2-1. Burns led the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and ranked ninth nationally in goals against average at 0.55. She started 23 matches, had a save percentage of 85.5 percent, allowed only 12 goals, and recorded an 18-1-3 record in goal for SPU.
One Last Thought On The Keepers...
The goalkeeper race should be interesting as there is no clear favorite heading into the season. Both have experience and the skill to takeover the starting role in 2007. No matter who wins the starting position, she will be pushed by the other on a daily basis to improve and keep that role. They both know if one keeper struggles in net there is a capable replacement willing and ready to step in.
Previewing The Bronco Defenders
One of the top defensive teams in the WAC in recent years, things should not change much in 2007. There are five returning veterans who have seen solid playing time. Of the four starters in 2006, three are back. However, all five defenders have started periodically in their careers. There is also one incoming freshman joining this group who will add depth and challenge for playing time this season.
The Broncos return three starters in the defensive back line from 2006. The anchor of the Bronco defense is two-time All-WAC honoree Alli Tsuchida. The Honolulu, Hawaii native has been a three-year starter and a major factor in Boise State’s defensive success the last three seasons. Tsuchida has a solid combination of speed and talent to stop the opposition when it attacks. Adding to her load will be leadership expectations this year as a senior and as one of the most decorated Broncos in history.
The Broncos also return senior Nicole Tadman who started in 13 of 17 games played last year. Tadman brings experience as a center defender to the lineup for 2007. A solid defender who does not mind mixing it up a bit with opponents.
The third returning starter is sophomore Sabrena Schwinn. She was the only freshman in 2006 that earned a consistent starting role until a injury sidelined her late in the season. She is healthy entering the campaign and should battle for a starting role again this year.
Meredith Mangum has seen action in 24 matches with two starts during her career. She possess good skill and brings a 5-10 frame to the field that gives her the ability to compete in the air on set pieces.
Jessica Hobdey was a fultime starter in 2005 and should be a strong challenger for that role again this season. Last year she saw quality time as an early sub in 15 matches. Hobdey is a speedy and intelligent back for the Broncos that works well within the team’s defensive strategy.
Lauren Acker is the only new face on the defensive line this fall. She is a true freshman out of Kennedy High School in Fremont,Calif. where she was a four-time first team all-league honoree in her prep career as a defender. Acker has good speed and game smarts to challenge the upper classmen for quality playing time.
One Last Thought On The Defenders...
The Broncos defensive success should continue again this year with the depth and talent in the back field. Last year they held opponents to 26 goals and 127 shots on goal, both marks are among the best in program history. With the team looking to be more offensive this season the pressure will be on to perform similarly again this year. They will be expected to turn back opponent’s counter attacks which could occur more often as the Broncos push up on the offense.
Previewing The Bronco Midfielders
The midfield is the largest group on the roster with 10 players listed. The Broncos have two starters returning in midfield from last season. Gone are Brennan Lau and Nicole Coleman from the starting lineup. However, Katie Keller and Melanie Bohnet return along with five other veterans who saw plenty of time in midfield. There are five seniors in the midfield lineup, so experience and leadership will still be an asset this year.
The first starter back is senior Melanie Bohnet. She played in 57 matches including 31 starts in her career. She started all 18 matches in 2006 and recorded two assists. Bohnet has good pace and skill and should retain her starting role in the center this fall.
Katie Keller had a solid debut for the Broncos in 2006 earning 15 starts in the 16 matches she played. She ranked fourth on the team in scoring with three goals for six points. The senior from Eagle, Idaho and a Utah State transfer was a solid player in midfield for the Broncos last season and should be again in 2007.
Sophie Parrish is a also a senior out of Meridian, Idaho, who has started in 21 of the 49 matches played to date. Parrish possesses good speed and skill which makes her a dangerous attacker down the wings. She will push hard for a full time starting role.
Erin Wofford will make a strong challenge for a starting position as well. She is a hard nosed competitor with good pace and talent to cause headaches for the opposition. Wofford recorded two goals for the Broncos in 2006 preceded by a stellar juco career at Santa Rosa Junior College in California. During here two year career at Santa Rosa she scored 29 goals and dished out 19 assists, earning junior college all-American status as a sophomore.
Brittney Dugger is the fifth senior on the roster listed as a midfielder. The transfer recorded one start in 11 matches played in 2006. She also has solid speed and skill to push for a starting role this season.
Kaylea Perenon is a sophomore out Oakland, California who saw action in every match last year with two starts. She recorded one game-winning goal in her freshman debut. Perenon came in off the bench last season as an early reserve but could challenge the seniors for a startling role this year.
Two other returners in the midfield are senior Natalie Griffin and redshirt freshman Jaime Jones. Griffin has seen limited action since coming to Boise State. Jones redshirted last season as a true freshman while she recovered from a high school injury. Both are untested at the moment but could surprise a few people when it comes to game time.
The staff brought in two freshmen standouts to bolster the depth in midfield. New to the roster are Jayne Murray from Calgary, Alberta and Cheyenne Jones from Aloha, Oregon. Both have solid skill and pace to make an impact immediately.
Jayne Murray has a solid background coming out of Canada where her club team was a perennial challenger for the provincial championship. She spent two seasons on the Alberta provincial team.
Cheyenne Jones will also make a push for quality playing time and perhaps even a starting position. She was a Oregon prep standout who led her league in scoring the last two seasons combining for 19 goals during that time frame to earn all-state honors as a senior.
One Last Thought On Midfield...
Once again upper classmen should dominate the midfield for Boise State in 2007. However, there is plenty of depth and talent among the 10 midfielders to challenge each other on a daily basis for playing time and starting positions. The midfield will be pressured to be more of an offensive threat this season in addition to holding the defensive line. If they can score on a regular basis the Broncos could go a long way in the race for the league title. The Broncos have numbers, talent, experience, and maturity in the midfield which will make Boise State a force in the league.
Previewing The Bronco Forwards
This season there is one returning starter at forward in junior Randi Baker. The other position will be a wide open battle for the starting role. In addition to Baker, there are four veterans back with limited experience, and two freshmen making up the forwards. Boise State wants to push the tempo this season in an effort to get more shots. The starters will be those who not only can take the shot, but are willing to take it. It will be vital to find the right combinations to get more scoring out of the group in 2007.
Randi Baker is the only starter back at forward. The junior from Henderson, Nevada is a two-year starter looking for her third. To date, she has recorded eight goals, the most of any returner, and three assists in the previous two seasons. Look to see her back in the starting lineup.
Danielle Schwalbe is the only other Bronco returning that saw significant time at forward last year. She is a solid player who does not mind challenging opponents and getting rough on occasion. Schwalbe is a tough athlete who will not back down. She record two goals in 16 matches last season as a reserve. She will be in the race to start next to Baker when the season begins.
Samantha Gambala (senior), Emma Boyack (junior), and Theresa Badilla (junior) have seen limited time on the field for the Broncos over the past two years. However, with the loss of Kristin Hall and Annie Tom two seniors on last year’s team, presents these three with opportunity to step up and prove what they can do. Boyack looked good on the wing during the spring exhibition games. All three could see quality minutes this season.
New to the roster are two prep standouts and one transfer who are natural forwards. All three will challenge the upper classmen for starting roles when the season opens.
Andrea Huerta transfers to Boise State from Chico State where she started as a freshman two years ago. She recorded three goals and two assists at Chico State.
Shannon Saxton is a two-time Oregon All-State honoree who recorded 50 goals and 16 assists throughout her high school career.
Ginger Sossaman recorded 19 goals and 10 assists for Los Alamitos High School in California. She was a two-time all-league honoree for the Griffins.
One Last Thought On The Forwards...
The last two years the Broncos have ranked seventh in the league for shots on goal, resulting in limited goal production. This year the coaching staff wants to push things a bit and are looking for players to take the shot. This season’s Boise State team will be solid and challenge for the title like it has the last two years. However, the forwards will be key to the Broncos making a major move up the ladder from the middle of the standings. The two that will see the most time are the ones willing to take that chance and fire the shot at goal.
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