► What’s Happening - Boise State University (8-5-2, 1-1-1 WAC) closes out the regular season road schedule with two key matches at Fresno State (6-8-2, 2-1-1 WAC) on Friday and at Nevada (1-11-3, 1-2-1 WAC) on Sunday. The Broncos currently sit in a two-way tie with Hawai’i for third place in the Western Athletic Conference standings. This weekend will go a long way towards Boise State’s goal of qualifying for the league’s postseason tournament being held in Reno, Nev., the first week of November. Only the top six teams advance to the tournament.
Looking at Boise State ...
► Recently for Boise State - Boise State enters the week at 8-5-2 overall and 1-1-1 in Western Athletic Conference play. The Broncos won their lone match last week defeating instate rival University of Idaho 1-0 in Moscow on Sunday, Oct. 19. Freshman Chelsea Robinson recorded her second career goal in the second minute of action to lead the Broncos past the Vandals and claim the 2008 Gem State championship. The previous week Boise State played its first home matches in early six weeks when they tied Louisiana Tech 2-2 in the WAC opener during a snow storm. They followed that with a disappointing 2-0 home loss to conference leading Utah State.
► Broncos Claim 2008 Gem State championship - With Boise State’s 1-0 victory over the University of Idaho in Moscow on Sunday Oct. 19, the Broncos completed the sweep of their two instate-rivals to claim the 2008 Gem State championship. Boise State defeated Idaho State 2-1 on Sept. 5. It marks the fifth time in 11 years that the Broncos have reigned supreme in Idaho, the "Gem State."
► Bronco Statistical Leaders - Sophomore Shannon Saxton continues to lead Boise State in scoring with 17 points on six goals and a league-high (tied) five assists. Saxton’s six goals have her ranked tied for fourth in the WAC for scoring. Andrea Huerta is second in scoring with five goals and two assists for 12 points. The junior from Boise is tied for seventh in the WAC for goals scored. The duo is followed on the team by freshman Chelsea Robinson who scored the match-winner at Idaho giving her six points this season on two goals and two assists. Senior Randi Baker and junior Danielle Schwalbe each have five points (2g, 1a), while Cheyenne Jones and Emma Boyack have two goals apiece.
► Statistically as a team - Offensively on the year, Boise State features the WAC’s third ranked scoring offense (tied) with 24 goals for a 1.13 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 24 goals, while a total of nine have dished out at least one of the 17 assists on the season. Defensively, Boise State has the league’s second ranked scoring defense allowing 16 goals to date for a 01.07 goals against average, they have also recorded four shutouts on the year.
► 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 70-76-18 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 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 26-12-10 (.646) all-time on their home turf. This season Boise State has gone 2-1-2 at home.
Looking at Friday’s Match (#16): Oct. 24 at Fresno State ...
► This weekend begins with a huge match featuring the WAC’s number two team Fresno State Bulldogs hosting the number three (tied) team Boise State Broncos at 8:00 p.m. (Mountain) at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, Calif. The Bulldogs enter the contest with a 2-1-1 conference mark and a 6-8-2 overall record. They split a pair of road matches last weekend defeating Louisiana Tech 1-0 in double-overtime on Friday, Oct. 17, followed by a 1-0 loss at league leading Utah State on Sunday.
The Series: Four of the eight matches to date have gone to extra time to be settled. Fresno State has won three of the last four contests, the other was a draw, and leads the overall series 5-2-1. Last season the two teams tied 1-1 in the regular season match-up in Boise, followed by the Bulldogs’ 4-1 win in the WAC semifinals, also in Boise.
Who To Watch: Nicole Gutierrez leads Fresno State in scoring with six goals on the year, followed by Molly Nizzoli with four goals and two assists.
As a Team: Offensively, the Bulldogs have the fifth ranked scoring offense in the WAC on the year with 16 goals to their credit for a 1.0 goals per match average. Defensively, they rank tied for third in goals allowed with 19 for a 1.11 goals against average.
About the Bulldogs: Fresno State returned 15 letterwinners and six starters from last year’s 13-7-1 squad that went 5-1-1 in league to place second. They are in their fifth season under the direction of Steve Springthorpe who is 47-39-12 at the school. This year’s version of the Bulldogs was picked to place second by the league’s coaches in this season’s WAC race.
Looking at Sunday’s Match (#17): Oct. 26 at Nevada ...
► The weekend ends with a match in Reno, Nev., between the Boise State Broncos and Nevada Wolf Pack at 2:00 p.m. (Mountain) at Mackay Stadium. The Wolf Pack will host the University of Idaho on Friday prior to their encounter with the Broncos. Nevada enters the week with a 1-2-1 conference mark and a 1-11-3 overall record. Last week they lost 4-3 at Utah State on Friday then tied Louisiana Tech 2-2 in Ruston, La., on Sunday. Their one conference win was an upset of defending league champion Hawaii 1-0 in Reno, Oct. 10.
The Series: Boise State has never lost a regular season encounter with Nevada and controls the all-time series with a 6-1-1 record. Last year, the Broncos defeated the Wolf Pack 3-2 in Boise.
Who To Watch: Cristen Drummond leads Nevada in scoring with three goals, followed by Samantha Miller with two goals and two assists, and Erin Smith with two goals.
As a Team: Offensively, the Wolf Pack have the sixth (tied) ranked scoring offense in the WAC on the year with 11 goals to their credit for a 0.7 goals per match average. Defensively, they rank eighth for goals allowed with 31 for a 2.07 goals against average.
About the Wolf pAck: Nevada returned 14 letterwinners and nine starters from last year’s 6-11-1 squad that went 2-5-1 in league to place tied for fifth. They are in their first season under the direction of head coach Jaime Frias. This year’s version of the Wolf Pack was selected to place fifth in this season’s WAC race by the WAC coaches.