FRESNO, Calif. (10/23/2009) - With the pressure of qualifying for the Western Athletic Conference Tournament on their home field building, Boise State recorded a key 2-1 road victory at Fresno State Friday night. Kaylea Perenon and Ashley Walsh gave the Broncos a two-goal lead in the first half then helped Boise State withstand a dominating Fresno State second period as they attempted to rally with a eight-to-two shots on goal advantage. Boise State’s Liz Ruiz was big for the Broncos in goal as she led a defense that repeatedly denied the Bulldogs holding Fresno State scoreless until the final 10 seconds of the game.
Boise State’s Kaylea Perenon opened the scoring in the 22nd minute to give the Broncos a one-goal advantage midway through the opening period. The play was setup following a Fresno State foul, The kick was sent into the Bulldog 18-yard box where it deflected of the Broncos’ Chelsea Robinson to Perenon who volleyed the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the night. It was the senior’s second goal of the year and seventh in her career.
Up one, Boise State extended its lead just before halftime. Sophomore Ashley Walsh won a battle for a loose ball inside the Bulldog penalty box which the defenders failed to clear. She turned and launch the scoring shot into the upper right corner of goal to record the first goal of her career with 31 seconds left in the half giving the Broncos momentum and a two-goal lead at the break.
By halftime Boise State had taken four shots in the game, placing three of the four on goal and scoring on two of them. On the defensive side, Liz Ruiz got the start in goal for the Broncos and denied both of Fresno State’s shots on goal in the period to keep the Broncos on top after 45 minutes.
The second period continued to be a battle as Fresno State picked up the pressure in an effort to get back into the game. In the first 25 minutes of the period the Bulldogs out shot the Broncos eight to one and six to one in shots on goal.
Following two Fresno State shots that sailed wide in the first 11 minutes of the period, Boise State’s Robinson was the first player to fired a shot on goal in the 58th minute that was denied by the Bulldogs goalkeeper Kaitlyn Revel.
Between the 61st and 68th minute Fresno State unleashed a barrage of six shots at the Bronco goal in which the visitors came away unscathed. Boise State’s Ruiz recorded three saves, another shot hit the cross bar and two sailed wide as the Broncos maintained their two-goal advantage.
The Bulldog pressure continued as they tried to rally. In the 75th minute Ruiz stood tall again for the Broncos in goal as she denied two more shots on goal by Fresno State’s Alex Jensen and Nicole Duff. In the 81st minute Ruiz denied a Duff header from close range to preserve the Boise State 2-0 lead.
Bronco freshman Erica Parks broke the Fresno State momentum temporarily when she broke open on a Boise State counter attack 14 seconds after the Duff header. Unfortunately, Revel was up to the task in the Bulldog goal recording the save on the Broncos second and last shot of the half.
In the 82nd minute Fresno State’s Callie Hancock fired the seventh Bulldog shot on goal only to see Ruiz deny the score again.
Unfortunately, the Fresno State pressure finally broke through in the closing moments of the game when Claudia Cardenas scored with 10 seconds remaining to deny the Broncos the shutout.
The win is the first in six years for Boise State over Fresno State and the first on the road over the Bulldogs since 2001. The victory improves the Broncos to 8-6-4 overall and 3-3-0 in WAC play as they move into a tie with the Bulldogs for fourth place, the Bulldogs fall to 5-11-0 on the year. The top six of nine schools advance to the WAC Tournament being hosted by Boise State Nov. 5-8. Next up for Boise State, the Broncos close the regular season next weekend when they host Hawai’i on Friday and San Jose State on Sunday.
Final Game Summary
Boise State (8-6-4, 3-3 WAC) vs. Fresno State (5-11, 3-3 WAC)
(10/23/09 at Fresno, Calif)
Date: 10/23/09 Attendance: 789
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Boise State......... 2 0 - 2
Fresno State........ 0 1 - 1
1. 21:44 BSU Perenon, Kaylea (Robinson, Chelsea) - free kick deflected off 20 to 29
2. 44:29 BSU Walsh, Ashley (unassisted) - 2 took ball out of scramble hit upper right corner
3. 89:50 FS Cardenas, Claudia (Duff, Nicole)
Shots: Boise State 6, Fresno State 16
Shots on Goal: Boise State 5, Fresno State 10
Saves: Boise State 9 (Ruiz, Liz 9), Fresno State 3 (Revel, Kaitlyn 3)