Broncos Travel to Face Northwest Foes

What's Happening This Week: The Boise State soccer team (2-0-0) will make its first road trip of the season to face Washington State Friday, Aug. 24 at 4 p.m. MT and Gonzaga, Sunday Aug. 26 at 1 p.m. MT.

Follow the Action: Live stats will be available for Friday's game HERE, while live video will be provided HERE, with subscription, Sunday.

Fan can also stay updated via twitter by following @broncosports.

► Match 3 Preview - Washington State - Friday, Aug. 24 - 4 p.m. MT

• The Series: The only matchup with the Cougars came during a 1999 Governor's Cup contest in Moscow, Idaho which Washington State won 2-0.

• Last Time: After a goalless first half, Washington State came out firing, scoring less than two minutes into the second period. Soon after, in the 51st minute, the Cougars added an insurance goal, creating a 2-0 lead that would last the remainder of the match.

• Scouting the Cougars: Washington State is coming off a 3-0 win during its season-opener against Gonzaga last Sunday, scoring in the 24th, 68th and 90th minutes. Washington State is one of three teams who qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 20ll, advancing to the second round where they fell to Virginia.

► Match 4 Preview - Gonzaga - Sunday Aug. 26 - 1 p.m. MT

• The Series: The Broncos trail the series 2-5-0 and have never defeated Gonzaga in Spokane.

• Last Time: The Bulldogs came to Boise last year for the Holliday Inn Classic where they defeated Boise State 1-0. Sarah Rhodes scored the only goal in the sixth minute.

• Scouting the Bulldogs: Gonzaga is 1-1 this season, opening with a 3-1 win over South Dakota before being shutout by Washington State. Freshman forward Sila Tuiofea leads the team with two goals on only two shots. The Bulldogs were selected to finish ninth in the WCC this season despite returning eight starters from last year's team.

2012 Bronco Season Notebook

► JUMP START - The Broncos are 2-0-0 this season, winning their opening two games for the first time since the 2008 season when they defeated Northwest Nazarene and Eastern Washington at home.

► On the Offensive - The four goals scored against North Dakota State is the most the Broncos have scored in a game since Oct. 8, 2010 when they netted six against Hawai'i.

► On Top of the Mountain - After the opening week of the 2012 season, Boise State leads the conference in shots (34), assists (5) and corner kicks (8).

► 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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