What's Happening This Week -The Boise State women's soccer team will host the Soccer Etc./Nike Classic at the Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex, Aug. 19-21. The Big Sky's Montana, the Pacific-12's Oregon and Mountain West foe Wyoming will make the trip to Boise. Each team will face two of the other three teams in the field with one game, Friday and the other on Sunday. Boise State will take on Montana during the evening matchup Friday at 5 p.m. After a day of rest the Broncos will match up against Oregon at 2 p.m. Live stats will be available for each game of the tournament at www.broncosports.com.
Game 1 Preview - Montana - The Broncos will make their 2011 season debut against the Montana Grizzlies, Friday at 5 p.m.
- The Series: The Broncos have a 5-3-1 advantage over Montana, including a 2-1 record at home.
- Last Time: The two teams met Sept. 17, of last season for a matchup in Missoula. Lindsay Roberts blasted a 30-yard shot past the keeper to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute. The Grizzlies responded quickly though, getting a one-on-one opportunity and leveling the game in 15th minute. The game remained a 1-1 tie despite a 24-13 shot advantage for Boise State.
- Scouting the Grizzlies: The match will be the season-opener for Montana as well, which won an exhibition matchup against Carroll College Aug. 13. The Grizzlies were picked to finish sixth in the eight-team Big Sky Conference.
Game 2 Preview - Oregon - The Broncos will conclude their weekend by hosting the Oregon Ducks, Sunday at 2 p.m.
- The Series: The Ducks command the overall series, leading 3-0. The match will mark the first time the two have met in Boise.
- Last Time: The Broncos traveled to Eugene last year to begin their season Aug, 20. Oregon's Jen Stoltenberg scored the game's first goal in the 18th minute off a cross from Kelsey Hones. Stoltenberg assisted on the Ducks' second and final goal in the 37th minute. The game ended in a 2-0 loss for the Broncos, who were outshot 20-7.
- Scouting the Ducks: The Ducks will start their season, Friday against Wyoming. Oregon was picked to finish tied for eighth in the Pacific-12 this season after finishing with a record of 7-10-3 last season.
Broncos in season Openers - Boise State is 6-6-1 in season openers but are 5-2 when the first game of the season is at home. In those seven games the Broncos have outscored the competition 16-8. The last time the Broncos opened a season at home was in 2008, when they beat Northwest Nazarene 3-0.
Playing for a Good Cause - The Boise State women's soccer team raised over 12,000 dollars for former player Amy Dunn during its exhibition with Arizona State at the Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex Aug. 12. Dunn, who played at Boise State from 2000-03 was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma and is currently undergoing treatment at the Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Bronco Season Preview - A new season brings a new conference for Boise State soccer, which will look to find early success in the Mountain West. The Broncos have 23 players returning from last season, 12 of whom were also members of the 2009 Bronco squad that notched the program's first league tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. The 2010 team tallied an overall record of 8-10-3 while finishing fifth in the WAC with a conference record of 4-2-2. The Broncos made it past the first round of the conference tournament with a double overtime win against Louisiana Tech, but fell to San Jose State in the semifinals 2-0.
The 2011 squad will be a veteran group, not only in age but experience. The team will have 12 players who were a part of the Bronco program during the post-season success in 2009 as well as the tough semifinal loss in 2010. The juniors and seniors who have seen the ups and downs will be complimented by a talented group of underclassmen looking to put their stamp on the Boise State program as it begins a new era in the Mountain West.
Preseason Predictions - The Broncos may have a chance to catch some opponents off guard this season after being voted to finish sixth in the preseason coaches' poll, notching 14 points. San Diego State was crowned the preseason favorite with 34 points and four first-place votes. Right behind the Aztecs was New Mexico, which earned 33 points and three first-place votes. The two front runners were voted well ahead of the rest of the field, which consists of UNLV (24), TCU (20), Wyoming (15) and Air Force (7).
2011 Schedule - The Broncos paid their dues in 2010, playing a majority of their games on the road. This year, they will have the favor returned with nine home games throughout the 2011 season, including two tournaments. Boise State will host three conference opponents, highlighted by a matchup against defending Mountain West champion New Mexico, Oct. 23.
Filling the boots - Though there is much experience returning for the 2011 season, this year's team will need to fill the holes left by 2010 seniors Malia Hendrix, Cheyenne Jones and Shannon Saxton, each of whom rank in the top 10 for most games started in school history.
Fresh Faces - Seven freshmen are included on the 2011 team, coming from Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The newcomers consist of midfielders/forwards KT Clayton (Kent, Wash.) and Jenna Griggs (Portland, Ore.), midfielders Noelle Kolb (Moorpark, Calif.) and Shannon Schueren (Bothell, Wash.), defenders Mikhaila Bowden (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Avery Salisbury (Federal Way, Wash.) and goalkeeper Ashleigh Anderson (Lake Oswego, Ore.).
According to Lucas, the class of freshmen is one of the most athletic and experienced Boise State has seen. Even though they have yet to play a game at the collegiate level, Lucas likes that most have championship experience at the club level, something that will be beneficial when the newcomers battle for playing time this season.