Soccer 2008 midfielder preview...

The Bronco Midfielders...

Once again the midfield is the largest group on the roster with 12 players listed. Gone from the group are 2007 All-WAC performers Brittney Dugger and Erin Wofford. However, this is the most experienced group on the field with three starters returning from last season in senior Randi Baker, junior Kaylea Perenon, and sophomore Cheyenne Jones. They combined for 10 goals and 11 assists last season. The trio should thrive in the midfield in 2008 and with their experience be a solid anchor for the young team.

The coaching staff has moved senior Emma Boyack, a veteran of 36 matches, from a forward position to an outside midfield role this year. In addition, senior Katie Derden transferred to Boise State from the University of South Carolina for the spring semester and had a solid spring camp. These two give added experience to the midfield.

Joining those five are one redshirt freshman, one sophomore transfer, and five true freshmen. This group brings talent and depth to the midfield positions. They will push the veteran group for playing time and possibly even starting roles.

Who’s Back...

2008 preseason All-WAC honoree Randi Baker leads this group as an attacking midfielder. The senior from Henderson, Nev. is the most experienced player on the Boise State roster as a three-year starter and veteran of 57 matches leading into the new campaign. To date, she has recorded the second-most goals of any active Bronco with 12 to go with her team-high seven career assists. She ranked third on the team in scoring during 2007 with four goals and four assists for 12 points. Look to see her back in the starting lineup for the season opener.

Kaylea Perenon is a junior from Oakland, Calif. who possesses a hard shot. She worked her way into the starting lineup as a sophomore with consistent play and a willingness to work hard. She racked up three goals and three assists to rank fifth in points last season. Look for the same tough mentality from Perenon, who is a favorite to start in the season opener.

Cheyenne Jones was one of two sensational freshmen last year for Boise State. She impressed from the first day of camp and found herself in the starting lineup for the opener. Nothing less is expected this time around for Jones, who has great pace and a solid touch. As a freshman in 2007 she ranked fourth on the team in scoring with three goals and four assists.

Emma Boyack is new to the midfield this season but has the maturity of a senior and experience from 36 matches to adapt to the new role quickly. She possesses one of the strongest legs on the team and is a danger to cross the ball accurately into the box or launch a rocket at goal from deep. She will be in the battle for a starting outside midfield position.

Katie Derden returned to her hometown school after competing for the University of South Carolina. She joined the squad for the 2008 spring semester and had a solid camp. She is a senior in eligibility and has played in the SEC, giving her great experience in one of the top college soccer leagues in the nation. Derden’s experience should give her a leg up in the battle for a starting position.

Jayne Murray a redshirt freshman from Calgary, Alberta, sat out last season for Boise State. She is another player who shined during spring ball for the Broncos. Even though Murray lacks college match experience, she should be in the thick of the race and could see plenty of match time when the season begins.

Who’s New...

Hayden Lake, Idaho, native Tara Roetter transferred to Boise State from Biola University in California. The former North Idaho Player of the Year and sophomore to be adds experience and speed to the midfield position. She ranked third in scoring for Biola as a freshman with one goal and a team-high four assists for six points.

Boise native and freshman Brandy Hickcox was Idaho’s 2006 Gatorade Player of the Year, District III Player of the Year, and a first-team all-state and all-conference honoree at Capital High.

Janelle Jin is another true freshman for Boise State who comes from Castro Valley, Calif., where she was a three-time all-conference honoree for Castro Valley High School.

Catherine Leewaye is the second freshman from Boise to join the Broncos. The Centennial High graduate was a two-time All-Southern Idaho Conference honoree for the Patriots.

Chelsea Robinson is a native of Portland, Ore. where she was a a three-time all-conference honoree at Sunset High School.

Ashley Walsh is one of the five true freshmen in midfield. She hails from Vancouver, Wash., where she was a two-time all-conference and one-time all-state honoree. Walsh was also named the 2006 OregonLive Player of the Year.

One Last Thought On Midfield...

Once again upperclassmen should dominate the midfield for Boise State in 2008. However, they will be pushed hard by a very talented group of newcomers who are all capable of earning starting roles. There is plenty of depth and talent among the midfielders to challenge each other on a daily basis for playing time and starting positions. Early on this group’s experience will play a very important role as the first line of defense. They will need to step it up while the extremely young defensive back line settles in and finds some consistency.

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