Rivalry Week Has Arrived
Sept. 3, 2014
Bronco Soccer: Rivalry Week is Here
Friday, Sept. 5 at Idaho 4 p.m. PT
Rivalry week has arrived for Boise State women's soccer. The Broncos will wrap up their season-opening road trip Friday, at Idaho, before beginning their home slate Sunday, against Idaho State. The match against the Vandals will begin at 4 p.m. (PT). The home opener kicks off at noon (MT), and will be streamed on the Mountain West Network.
"You cannot match rivalries," said head coach Jim Thomas. "The rivalry between all of the Idaho schools is incredibly high. It is important and exciting for our fans to see us play against local universities and feature the homegrown talent around the area."
Boise State (1-1-2) opens the weekend by traveling to Moscow for the first time since 2009, to face the Vandals (0-4-0). The Broncos hold a 9-4-1 edge in the all-time series, but the two teams have not met since 2011. Idaho, under first-year head coach Derek Pittman, has been outscored 13-1 in the first four matches and was picked to finish ninth in the Big Sky Conference.
Fellow in-state rival Idaho State (2-0-0) visits the Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex Sunday, for Boise State's first home match of the year. A slew of promotions and events surround what the Bronco coaches anticipate being an entertaining, high-level game.
"It's going to be a fantastic game," Thomas said. "A great atmosphere, a great product on the field for everyone to watch and a good test for us."
If history is any indication, Thomas is exactly right. The first all-time meeting in 1998 ended in a 0-0 draw. Since then, 11 of the 15 matches have been decided by one goal with four of them needing overtime to determine a winner- including last year. Idaho State scored in the 97th minute to win 2-1 the 2013 meeting, which was played in Pocatello and the season opener for both teams.
"This is a game we need," Thomas said. "We need to challenge that component of our squad right now. It's combining emotion and passion with technique and tactic. If we do not do that against ISU, it will be a very difficult game for us to win. Idaho State is so passionate, they're so motivated. It's a humongous game for them. Now it is for us. After the last two meetings (including the spring season) and how the results have gone. I know our players are ready for this. They've marked it on the calendars, they've been looking forward to this game. I think it's awesome that it comes at a time where passion, commitment and finding things above and beyond your normal role have become a point of emphasis for us."
Thomas expects the rivalry matches to push Boise State to new levels and provide an extra element to the team's approach.
"These games are going to help us bring an edge," Thomas said. "It's important for us to not just rely on our technique, our tactic and our wonderful athleticism. Games are often decided by heart, passion, commitment, work rate and players willing to do those little extra things that will tip the balance."
The Broncos have played two of their last three matches to a draw, sandwiching the lone loss of the year. After scoring three goals in a shutout victory to open the season, Boise State has scored one goal in each of the last three contests.
The attacking unit continues to get production up and down the roster. Six different Broncos have scored the team's six goals thus far, and seven have registered a point. Brooke Heidemann, Kelsey Nicassio and Kelli Drobney lead with way with three points each. Last season, 10 Broncos combined to score 33 goals, including a team-high nine from Heidemann. Nicassio, a junior, scored the first goal of her career at Utah (Aug. 29). Drobney matched her season total from last year with the game-tying goal against Utah Valley (Aug. 31), the sophomore has also matched her point total from last year.
Promotions Surrounding Home Opener (Sept. 7)
-Postgame SoccerFest (see below)
-Ticket from Saturday football game is good for free admission
-First 50 students receive free t-shirt
-Winner of halftime contest takes home tickets to Dierks Bentley (open to students)
-Drawing to win an autographed jersey
SoccerFest Following the Match (Free with admission)
-Kick around on the field with student-athletes
-On-field activities for kids
-Run through the tunnel just like the Broncos
-Photo opportunities with the team and Buster
-Free ice cream sandwiches
-Concessions for sale
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