Defense has been the key to Boise State’s success in recent years. The goalkeeper’s job would be a nightmare if not for those teammates in front of her. The Broncos have been among the best in the Western Athletic Conference the last couple of years in limiting goals and shots on goal surrendered.
The Broncos return three of their key starters in the defensive back line from last season. Most notably is 2005 All-WAC Second Team honoree Alli Tsuchida. The junior from Honolulu, Hawaii has been an instrumental part of the Broncos success. She possesses speed, talent, and skill that can thwart the opposition’s counter attacks.
Also back from 2005’s campaign is senior Molly McDonald. The Maple Valley, Washington native is primed for her final campaign at Boise State. McDonald has height and pace to lead the Bronco defense in stressful times. She is a career defender that possesses the skill and maturity to help organize the back when confronting attacking strikers.
McDonald and junior Jessica Hobdey are two of only four Broncos to start every match (20) last year. Hobdey, who is a defender out of Pocatello, Idaho, has been a major cog in Boise State’s defense the last two seasons that has limited opponents’ goals and shots on goal surrendered. Hobdey is a speedy and intelligent back for the Broncos that works well with her teammates when challenging the opposition and stalling their attacks on Boise State’s goal.
The Broncos also return two more experienced defenders in junior Nicole Tadman and sophomore Meredith Mangum. Tadman, who transferred from Drake for the 2005 season, made an immediate impact last year starting in nine of the 13 matches she played as a defensive wing. Mangum saw action in 11 matches with one start. Both players possess good speed and skill, while Mangum brings a 5-10 frame to compete in the air on set pieces.
The Boise State coaching staff brought in one defender during the off season in Sabrena Schwinn. She is one of four freshmen on the roster in 2006 and is a native of the Boise metro area coming from Eagle High School in Eagle, Idaho. Schwinn had an excellent prep career for the Mustangs leading them to the 2004 Idaho 5A state championship. Though there will be a transition period in adjusting to the collegiate level of play, Schwinn should overcome that and challenge the five veteran defenders for playing time in 2006.
One Last Thought On The Defenders...
Boise State’s defensive back should be strong again. All six players listed as defenders on the roster are solid and capable of starting. The defenders will play a key role in this year’s success for the Broncos. Their experience and the ability to keep Boise State in matches if the offensive struggles will be key to the team’s success.