Boise State University (3-3-1) continues its nine-match road swing this weekend when they travel to Flagstaff, Ariz. to participate in Northern Arizona University’s eighth annual Mountain Classic. While there the Broncos will face off with the University of Louisiana, Monroe (ULM) Warhawks (3-2-0) on Friday at 5:00 p.m. (Mountain), followed by the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Keydets (2-3-0) at 11:00 a.m. (Mountain) on Sunday morning. Both matches will be first-time encounters with the respective programs and will be played at NAU’s Lumberjack Stadium. This is the second time that Boise State has participated in the Mountain Classic having competed in the tournament during the 2005 campaign where they defeated UC Davis (1-0) before losing to Bowling Green (1-0).
Looking at Boise State...
► Recently for Boise State - Boise State enters the week at 3-3-1 overall. The Broncos have lost three in a row including a pair last weekend at the Saint Mary’s College Fall Soccer Classic in Moraga, Calif. Boise State suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Saint Mary’s on Friday, Sept. 12, in the 90th minute after dominating the second period. Then No. 20 California handed the Broncos a 2-0 defeat Sunday, Sept. 14, afternoon.
► Bronco Statistical Leaders - Junior Andrea Huerta and sophomore Shannon Saxton continue to lead Boise State in scoring with nine points apiece. Huerta leads the team in goals with four on the season to go with one assist, while Saxton is ranked second with three goals to go with a team best three assists. They are followed on the team by junior Danielle Schwalbe with two goals for four points and freshman Chelsea Robinson with one goal and two assists matching Schwalbe’s point total. In all, nine Broncos have recorded at least one point on the year. In addition, 14 of Boise State’s 16 newcomers have seen their Bronco debuts this fall. The other two are redshirting.
► Statistically as a team - Boise State has scored 12 goals on the season. The team had scored in every match played until last weekend when they were shutout twice. Defensively, the Broncos have allowed eight goals for a 1.11 goals against average and have recorded two shutouts in seven contests.
► Briefly About the Team - Boise State features the youngest squad in the Western Athletic Conference with 19 underclassmen on a roster of 26: 13 true freshmen, two redshirt freshmen, and four sophomores. In fact, only seven players returned who had seen action for the Broncos. In all, their are 19 players on the team who could see their Boise State debuts this year. The Broncos also returned the second fewest starters in the league with five compared to four for San Jose State.
► What is Back for Boise State - Boise State returned the nation’s fourth ranked and the WAC’s top scorer for 2007 in sophomore Shannon Saxton who averaged 0.895 goals per game as a freshman. She tallied a league best 17 goals and 39 points last year. Both Saxton and senior midfielder Randi Baker where named to this season’s preseason All-WAC team.
► The Head Coach - The 2008 season marks Steve Lucas’ ninth as head coach of the Broncos where he currently owns a 65-74-17 record to date. His current squad was picked by the league’s coaches to finish fourth in this season’s WAC race after going 9-7-3 overall and 5-1-1 in conference last season, tied for second in the final standings.
► Record At Bronco Soccer Field - The Bronco Soccer Field is the home of Boise State soccer. It is located adjacent to the Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex on south Oakland Avenue. Since the field opened in 2003, the Broncos have gone 26-11-9 (.663) all-time on their home turf.
Match 8: Louisiana-Monroe Preview...
► Recently For ULM - The Warhawks enter the week at 3-2-0 and are coming off a pair of defeats last weekend losing 3-2 to Belmont and 3-0 to Murray State. Prior to that they opened the season with a three-match winning streak.
► Who to Watch - Tiffany Bombard leads the team in scoring with three goals, followed by Kelly Browne and Amy Porch with two each.
► Briefly on the Warhawks - The Warhawks are members of the Sun Belt Conference. ULM returned 14 letterwinners and eight starters from last season’s campaign that saw them go 8-11-1 overall and 4-6-1 in league to place ninth. The 2008 ULM squad was picked to place tenth in this year’s Sun Belt race.
► The Series - Friday’s match with ULM will be the first ever between the two programs. However, the Broncos are 0-4-0 all-time against current Sun Belt Conference members: 0-1-0 vs. Florida International, 0-2-0 vs. North Texas, and 0-1-0 vs. Denver.
Match 9: Virginia Military Institute Preview...
► Recently For VMI - The Keydets enter the week at 2-3-0 overall after splitting a pair of home matches last weekend defeating South Carolina State 6-0 before dropping a 1-0 decision to Navy. Their other win came at home over Campbell University by the score of 3-1 on Sept. 6.
► Who to Watch - Olivia Moore leads VMI with four goals and one assist on the year. She is followed by Chrissy Beach who has recorded two goals and one assist in five matches.
► Briefly on the Keydets - VMI is a member of the Big South Conference for soccer. They return 12 letterwinners and eight starters from a year ago when they went 5-13-2 overall and 1-7 in league to place seventh. VMI was picked by the conference coaches to place tenth in this year’s BSC race.
► The Series - Sunday’s encounter with the Keydets will be the first meeting all-time between the two programs. In addition, it will mark the first meeting ever for the Broncos with a member of the Big South Conference.