A Look At The Midfielders...
The midfield has the most players listed on the Boise State roster with 11. The Broncos return all four starters in midfield from last season. However, Randi Baker who split time between the midfield and forward positions last season will play up top in 2006. This group possesses plenty of talent and a mixture of experience and youth. The leading point scorer last year was a midfielder in Nicole Coleman who is back this season. Boise State added two high scoring junior college transfers and a couple freshmen that could improve the Bronco offense from the center. Like the Bronco defensive backs, the midfield is also deep, experienced, and should be a strength in 2006.
Brennan Lau, a senior from Boise, started the 19 matches she played in 2005 on the right side. What she lacks in height (5-1) she makes up for in speed. Lau is your typically hard nosed player who has the knack to find the ball. There is never a question about Lau’s effort and whether she left everything on the field when the match is over. She is tied for tenth all-time in scoring for Boise State with seven career goals, including four game-winners.
The second senior in the midfield is team co-captain Nicole Coleman who started all 17 matches she played in the center. She led the team in total points as a junior in 2005 with 15 on five goals and five assists. Coleman has the ability to score from mid-range in or pass a through ball to a teammate in the box. Her patience and leadership will be important this year as the Broncos step up their offensive attack.
Sophie Parrish is a junior out of Meridian, Idaho, who started in 14 of the 20 matches she played in 2005. She is a midfielder with good pace who can be extremely dangerous attacking down the wings.
Another key returner in midfield is junior Melanie Bohnet. She played in all 20 matches last season and ranked fourth on the team in points with five on two goals and one assist. Bohnet, Boise State’s 12th Woman last season, has all the skill and talent to challenge for a starting role in the center this fall.
Katie Keller becomes eligible this year after transferring home in 2005 to Boise State after spending her freshman season (2004) at WAC rival Utah State. As a result of the league’s intra-conference transfer rule the Eagle, Idaho, native lost her redshirt and sophomore year during the 2005 season and enters 2006 as a junior. Keller is a good athlete that started 18 matches at Utah State as a freshman midfielder. She has the skill, pace, and ability to challenge for starting time this fall.
Two other returners in the midfield are sophomores Natalie Griffin and Ashley Stimpson. The two saw action in a combined five matches last year in a limited role. One note, Griffin has been hampered by injuries the first two years resulting in her redshirting in 2004. They each have had a year under their belt and some experience in the offense which could allow them to challenge for more time in 2006.
Competition for playing time in the midfield should be a battle this fall with the addition of two gifted junior college transfers. Both Brittney Dugger and Erin Wofford led their teams in scoring last season and will push this year’s Boise State returners for starting positions. In addition to the two juco transfers, the Broncos added two high school standouts which will solidify the midfield depth.
Brittney Dugger was an all-conference performer last season at Walla Walla Community College in Washington. She recorded 12 goals and 11 assists while leading WWCC to a league divisional championship and a appearance in the conference’s tournament title match. Her assists total ranked her second in the league while she was ranked 10th for goal scoring.
Erin Wofford is a junior out of the California juco system where she was named a NSCAA/adidas All-American at Santa Rosa Junior College. During here two year career at Santa Rosa she scored 29 goals and dished out 19 assists as SRJC won back-to-back conference titles.
Boise State signed two high school midfielders during the off season. The first is Kaylea Perenon out Oakland, California. Perenon was a four-time all-league honoree at Bishop O’Dowd High. She recorded 33 goals and 64 assists during her four-year varsity prep career.
Jaime Jones is recovering from an injury suffered last winter in high school. Once healthy the Pocatello, Idaho native and three-time All-Great Basin Conference honoree will battle the upper classmen for playing time.
One Last Thought On Midfield...
Upper classmen should dominate the midfield for Boise State which will allow the younger players to ease into the college environment. The Broncos have numbers, talent, experience, and maturity in the midfield which could take Boise State a long way in competing for their first ever conference championship. The midfield should also prove to be more of an offensive scoring threat this season with the new additions to the lineup. Finally, look for an all out battle for playing time as this extremely deep group develops throughout the 2006 campaign. This group could ultimately prove to be the best midfield the Broncos have ever had.
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