After five weeks on the road Boise State is home for two matches to open league schedule.
► What’s Happening - Boise State University (7-4-1) is home for the first time in six weeks when they host Louisiana Tech University and Utah State University this weekend to open Western Athletic Conference play. The Broncos have not played at home since a 2-2 draw with Weber State University on Aug. 31. They have spent the last five weeks or nine consecutive matches on the road, they went 5-4-0 during that stretch.
► Friday’s Match - This week’s slate begins at 4:00 p.m. (Mountain) on Friday with the league opener versus Louisiana Tech at the Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex. The Lady Techsters enter the match with the best nonconference mark in the WAC at 10-2-1 overall.
Promotion for match - Faculty and Staff Appreciation and Soccer Camp Reunion Day. Children who attended last summer’s soccer camp get in for one dollar if they wear their camp t-shirts.
► Sunday’s Match - The weekend will conclude when Boise State host Utah State at 1:00 p.m. (Mountain) on Sunday. The Aggies enter the week with a 5-7-1 overall record, but will host the University of Idaho on Friday before traveling to Boise.
Promotion for match - Sunday is "Pinkout" in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness. The Broncos will be wearing pink uniforms to show their support for the cause. In addition, it is Coleman Foundation Day, and Bronco Buddies Day. All members of the Bronco Buddies Kids Club will meet with the team before the match at 12:00 p.m. and then get into the match free.
Looking at Boise State...
► Recently for Boise State - Boise State enters the week at 7-4-1 overall. They have played nine-consecutive contests on the road prior to this week going 5-4-0 during that stretch. The Broncos split a pair of road games last weekend and saw their four-match win streak snapped on Sunday, Oct. 5 when they lost at Wyoming 1-0 their last time out. Prior to that, the Broncos had run off four straight victories over Louisiana-Monroe (3-0), VMI (2-1), Montana (2-1), and Northern Colorado (2-1).
► Bronco Statistical Leaders - Sophomore Shannon Saxton continues to lead Boise State in scoring with 15 points on five goals and a league-high (tied) five assists. Saxton’s five goals have her ranked tied for third in the WAC for scoring. Andrea Huerta is second in scoring with four goals and two assists for 10 points. The junior from Boise is tied for sixth in the WAC for goals scored. The duo is followed on the team by senior Randi Baker with five points (2g, 1a), while Cheyenne Jones, Danielle Schwalbe, and Emma Boyack all have two goals each. Chelsea Robinson also has four points on one goal and two assists. In all, 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 21 goals for a 1.75 goals per game average. Fourteen Broncos have recorded at least one point on the year. Boise State has had 10 different individuals contribute to the team’s 21 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 12 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 69-75-17 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 Boas Complex - The Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex is the home of Boise State soccer. The field is located adjacent to the Boas Tennis and Soccer Center on south Oakland Avenue. Since the field opened in 2003, the Broncos have gone 26-11-9 (.663) all-time on their home turf. This season Boise State has gone 2-0-1 at home.
Match 13: Louisiana Tech Preview...
► Recently for Louisiana Tech - The Lady Techsters enter the contest with the top nonconference record in the WAC at 10-2-1. They swept a pair of road matches last week defeating Prairie View A&M 8-0 followed by a 1-0 win over Houston Baptist to increase their current unbeaten streak to seven matches (6-0-1).
► Who to watch - Louisiana Tech has four of the WAC’s top-six scorers led by Kristen Sevier ranked first in the league with seven goals and three assists. She is followed by Olivia Lukasewich ranked second in the WAC with six goals and five assists, Rachel King tied for third for goals scored with five, and Denise Wilson tied for sixth in the WAC with four goals.
► Briefly on the Lady Techsters - La Tech features the league’s top scoring offense with 42 goals in 13 matches to average 3.2 per contest. They also have the number one defense allowing only seven goals to date. LTU returned 15 letterwinners and eight starters from last season’s campaign that saw them go 2-14-1 overall and 0-6-1 in league to place eighth. The 2008 squad was picked to place eighth in this year’s conference race. They are in their first season under the direction of head coach Kevin Sherry.
► The Series - Friday’s match with Louisiana Tech will be the fourth encounter between the two programs. The Broncos have won all three of the previous encounters with the Lady Techsters including a 4-2 victory in Ruston last season.
Match 14: Utah State Preview...
► Recently for Utah State - The Aggies enter the week at 5-7-1 overall and are coming off a 2-0 home loss to BYU in Logan, Utah last Saturday. Prior to that, Utah State defeating Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo. 2-1 on Sept. 28. The Aggies will host the University of Idaho on Friday before heading to Boise for their Sunday afternoon encounter with the Broncos.
► Who to watch - Lauren Hansen leads Utah State in scoring with four goals and one assist. She is tied for sixth in the WAC for goals scored. Erin Salmon follows Hansen with three goals on the year, while Lindsey Smart and Shantel Flanary each have two goals and one assist to their credit.
► Briefly on the Aggies - Offensively, Utah State ranks in the middle of the pack with 13 goals this season. Defensively, they rank third allowing 16 goals to date in 13 matches. Utah State returned 16 letterwinners and seven starters from last season’s campaign that saw them go 10-11-0 overall and 5-2-0 in league to place fourth. The 2008 squad was picked to place third in this year’s league race. They are in their sixth season under the direction of head coach Heather Cairns (48-53-10).
► The Series - Sunday’s match with Utah State will be the ninth encounter between the two programs all-time with Utah State leading 6-2-0. The two were once league rivals in the Big West Conference (1998-2000) before both eventually found their way into the WAC. Boise State won last year’s encounter in Logan, Utah, 2-1 to claim their first ever victory at the Aggies home field.