Boise State (4-3-1) travels to Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend where they will face the University of Utah at 1:00 p.m. (Mountain) on Sunday afternoon at Ute Field. They will conclude action next Tuesday with a trip to Spokane, Wash. to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs at 3:00 p.m. (Pacific). The Broncos opponents during this two game trip are a combined 10-4-1 on the year. The Utah Utes of the Mountain West Conference are 5-2-1 overall while the West Coast Conference’s Gonzaga Bulldogs are 5-2-0. This set of games will wrap-up the early schedule that has seen Boise State on the road for nine of their first 10 matches to open the season.
Week Five Match Notes...
Looking at Boise State: The Broncos are 4-3-1 overall in their 10th season of competition. Boise State enters this week coming off a 1-0-1 record last weekend at the Montana Nike Cup in Missoula, Mont. While there the Broncos tied the PAC-10’s Oregon State Beavers 3-3 then defeated the Montana Grizzlies 2-0. Boise State has the top scoring offense in the Western Athletic Conference leading the league with 22 goals and 20 assists for 64 total points, all are conference highs. Entering the year, the Broncos returned six of 11 starters and 18 letterwinners from 2006, as well as, 11 seniors. This year’s squad was picked to finish sixth in the 2007 WAC race by the league’s coaches after going 7-7-4 overall and 2-3-2 in league last season.
Looking at the Bronco Leaders: Freshman Shannon Saxton has continued her explosive start in her debut season recording 10 goals and four assists in the first eight matches. The Beaverton, Ore. native has moved within one goal of tying the school record for goals in a season and currently leads the WAC in goals scored (10) and total points (24)as well as, being tied for second in assists (4). Saxton is ranked second (tied) nationally for goals scored and goals per game (1.25). As a team, nine Broncos have recorded goals while a total of 14 have contributed to the scoring either with a goal or an assist. Junior midfielder Randi Baker has recorded three goals and one assist, while senior Erin Wofford has two of each, and sophomore Danielle Schwalbe has two goals and one assist. Defensively, redshirt sophomore Jennifer Burns has recorded two shutouts in the six matches she has played.
Boise State Versus This Week’s Opposition: The Broncos have never defeated the Utes in three previous encounters going 0-3-0 all-time against the school from the Mountain West Conference. The last meeting between Utah and Boise State was Aug. 28, 2005 when the Utes won 3-0 in their lone trip to Boise in the series. The Broncos are a combined 1-8-1 versus the current membership of the MWC. Boise State is 1-3-0 all-time against the Gonzaga Bulldogs and 1-4-0 against West Coast Conference schools. The last time the Broncos and Bulldogs met up was on Sept. 5, 2004 in Spokane, Wash. when Gonzaga won 2-1.
Looking at Utah (Match 9): The Utes are 5-2-0 overall entering their match at Pepperdine in Friday (Sept. 28). They are coming off a home sweep last weekend when they defeated Cal Poly 2-0 (Sept. 20) and then rallied from behind to down Washington 3-2 (Sept. 22). They are 2-0 against common opponents with Boise State defeating Idaho State 3-2 (ot) and Oregon 2-0, the Broncos lost 3-0 to Oregon and 5-2 to Idaho State. Utah has the top scoring offense in the Mountain West Conference with 17 goals and 19 assists to date. They are led by junior forward Adele Letro who has nine goals and two assists on the season. Katy Reinke, a junior defender, is second in scoring with five goals and three assists. The Utes returned four starters and 16 letterwinners from last season’s two-time MWC championship team that went 16-5-1 overall, 7-0-0 in league, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Utah is coached by Rich Manning who is 77-26-11 in five plus years at the school. The MWC coaches picked this season’s squad to tie with BYU for the league title.
Looking at Gonzaga (Match 10): The Zags enter the week at 5-2-0 overall and are coming off a 2-1 home victory over Utah State in their lone match last week. Gonzaga will host Idaho State on Friday before they play the Broncos on Tuesday in Spokane, Wash. They are currently 2-0-0 against common opponents with Boise State defeating Montana 1-0 and Eastern Washington 2-0, Boise State defeated both as well downing EWU 3-1 then Montana last weekend 2-0. The Bulldogs have scored10 goals in seven matches to date to ranked in the middle of the West Coast Conference offensively. Ashley Riley leads Gonzaga with three goals on the year, followed by Jamie Blanche with two. The Bulldogs returned eight starters and 17 letterwinners from last year’s 10-9-1 squad that went 3-4-0 in conference to tie for fifth place. Shannon Stiles is in her ninth season at the helm of the Zags where she has gone 65-89-7 overall. The 2007 Bulldogs were picked by the WCC coaches to finish sixth in this season’s league race.