Boise State University (5-3-1) hits the road for the fourth week in a row when they travel to Missoula, Mont. to face the University of Montana Grizzlies (1-6-1) in the Broncos lone match of the week. The encounter is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (Mountain) on Sunday at the U of M’s South Campus Stadium. This is the seventh of nine consecutive road contests for Boise State as they look for continued success away from Boise. The nine-game road swing will end next week when they travel to face the University of Northern Colorado and University of Wyoming the weekend of Oct. 3-5.
Looking at Boise State...
► Recently for Boise State - Boise State enters the week at 5-3-1 overall. The Broncos snapped a two-game scoring draught and three-match losing streak last week in Arizona when they defeated the University of Louisiana-Monroe 3-0 on Sept. 19, followed by a 2-1 victory over VMI (Virginia Military Institute) on Sunday, Sept. 21. The 2-0 record gave the Broncos a share of the Mountain Classic title in Flagstaff, Ariz. Boise State’s goal scorers on the weekend were Randi Baker and Cheyenne Jones with two apiece, and Shannon Saxton with one.
► Bronco Statistical Leaders - Sophomore Shannon Saxton continues to lead Boise State in scoring with 13 points on four goals and a league high five assists. Andrea Huerta is second in scoring with four goals and two assists for 10 points. The duo is tied for second in goals scored in the league statistics while Saxton leads the conference in assists. They are followed on the team by senior Randi Baker with five points (2g, 1a), and Cheyenne Jones (2g), Danielle Schwalbe (2g) and Chelsea Robinson (1g, 2a) all with four points apiece. 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 - Offensively, Boise State features the WAC’s third ranked scoring offense with 17 goals for a 1.89 goals per game average. Twelve Broncos have recorded at least one point on the year. Boise State has had eight different individuals contribute to the team’s 17 goals, while a total of eight have dished out at least one of the 15 assists on the season. Defensively, Boise State has the league’s second ranked scoring defense allowing nine goals to date for a 0.98 goals against average, they have also recorded three shutouts.
► 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 67-74-17 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 10: Montana Preview...
► Recently For Montana - The Grizzlies enter the week at 1-6-1 overall and are coming off a trip to the Hawaiian islands where they tied WAC preseason favorite University of Hawai’i 0-0, then lost to No. 20 UC Santa Barbara 4-0. They have played an extremely difficult schedule to date with losses to Washington State, Minnesota, Washington, and No. 23 Denver. Their lone victory of the season came at future Boise State opponent the University of Wyoming where they won 2-1 in overtime. Montana has struggled to score this season with three in eight matches. They have allowed 14 goals to the opposition for a 1.68 goals against average.
► Who to Watch - Kaitlyn Heinsohn is the only Grizzly to score a goal this season with three. She has taken 12 of Montana’s total 22 shots on goal through eight matches.
► Briefly on the Grizzlies - The Grizzlies are members of the Big Sky Conference where they have been one of the perennial powers in the league. Montana returned 13 letterwinners and eight starters from last season’s campaign that saw them go 3-12-2 overall and 1-4-2 in league to place tied for eighth. The 2008 squad was picked to place seventh in this year’s Big Sky race.
► The Series - Sunday’s match with Montana will be the seventh encounter between the two programs. The Grizzlies opened the series with two wins before the momentum in the rivalry swung Boise State’s direction who has now won four consecutive matches to lead 4-2-0 all-time. Last year Boise State defeated Montana in Missoula 2-0 on Sept. 23.