Broncos To Open WAC Tournament Title Defense Against Louisiana Tech
► What's Happening - The Boise State soccer team is off to defend its 2009 Western Athletic Conference Tournament title this week when the top-six teams from the league standings meet in Ruston, La., to decide the 2010 championship. The Broncos will open the tournament against the event's host team the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters in the second match of the day, kick-off is schedule for approximately 2:00 p.m. (Mountain) at the Lady Techster Soccer Field. Boise State enters the tournament as the No. 5 seed after going 4-2-2 in league and 7-9-3 overall, La Tech is the No. 4 seed at 5-3 in WAC play and 15-5 overall. The winner of Thursday's quarterfinal match will meet San Jose State (11-7-1, WAC 5-2-1), the No. 1 seed, at 2:00 p.m. (Mountain) on Friday. Boise State lost to both teams during the regular season.
► Tight WAC Race - The Broncos entered the final weekend of the regular season last Friday, Oct. 29, among four teams that could win the title. After tying 2-2 with Fresno State in Boise on Friday, Boise State went to San Jose State for the title match on Sunday. Things did not go well for the Broncos who lost 3-0 minus several starters. As a result they dropped from first to fifth in the standings. Utah State and San Jose State ended up tying for the regular-season championship with 16 points (5-2-1), followed by Idaho and La Tech with 15 points (5-3-0), and Boise State with 14 points (4-2-2). Fresno State is the sixth-place team with 11 points (3-3-2).
► Broncos to Defend Title - The Boise State is the defending WAC Tournament champions after winning the event in Boise last year. Boise State ran off three-straight victories in the tournament to claim the title with wins over Fresno State (2-1), Utah State (1-0) and Nevada (1-0). A stadium record crowd of 1,223 watch the Broncos defeat the Wolf Pack for the championship.
► Broncos at WAC Tournament - This will be Boise State's seventh trip in 10 years of membership to the WAC's title event, it is also the fifth-consecutive trip. Boise State is 4-5-1 all-time at the WAC Tournament.
► What's Happened Recently - Boise State closed the regular season drawing 2-2 at home with Fresno State then dropping a 3-0 contest at San Jose State. In the match against Fresno State the Broncos rallied from two down with seven minutes to play to get the draw on goals by Shannon Saxton and Kati Lucas. At San Jose State the Broncos played short a few starters and were unable to score against the Spartans.
Match 20 Preview Vs. Louisiana Tech
Boise State opens the WAC Tournament against the host school Louisiana Tech at 2:00 p.m. (Mountain) Thursday afternoon. La Tech enters the game at 15-5 overall and 5-3 in league. The Lady Techsters played one match last week defeating New Mexico State 2-0 in Las Cruces, N.M. La Tech is the number four seed in the tournament after tying Idaho for third.
● The Series: Thursday will be the seventh meeting all-time between these two programs with Boise State holding a 4-1-1 lead in the series. The Broncos are 3-0 all-time versus La Tech in Ruston.
● Last Time: The Lady Techsters won the regular-season contest between the two teams in Boise by the score of 1-0 on a Rachel King goal in the 55th minute.
● About the Lady Techsters: The Lady Techsters were picked by the WAC coaches to place ninth in this year's conference race. Offensively, La Tech scored 52 goals. Rachel King led (tied) the WAC in scoring with 13 goals and three assist on the year. Kiva Gresham was tied for third in the WAC with 12 goals and lead in points with 32.
● La Tech's Head Coach: Kevin Sherry is in his fourth season as head coach at La Tech where he has gone 39-31-7 to date and 1-2-1 versus Boise State.
Possible Match 21 Preview Vs. san Jose State
If Boise State wins on Thursday it would meet San Jose State in Friday's semifinals at 2:00 p.m. (Mountain). These two meet in the regular-season finale where the Spartans won 3-0 in San Jose this past Sunday. SJSU closed the season with a 2-1 loss at Idaho on Oct. 28 then defeated the Broncos. They are the number one seed in the tournament after tying with Utah State for the title going 5-2-1 in league and 11-7-1 on the year.
● The Series: Friday's match up with San Jose State would be the 13th meeting all-time with the Broncos holding a 7-3-2 advantage in the series. They have met twice in the WAC Tournament with Boise State going 1-0-1 in those contest, both in Reno, Nev.
● Last Year: Last Sunday the Spartans defeated Boise State 3-0 in San Jose on a Bronco own goal and scores by Sarah Fraser and Katie Knopp.
● About the Spartans: They are the defending WAC regular-season champions. The Spartans were picked by the WAC coaches to finish third in this year's conference race. Offensively, they have scored 39 goals this season. The Spartans are led by Kayla Santacruz and Kelsey Lord with nine goals each.
● San Jose State's Head Coach: Jeff Leightman is in his third season as head coach at San Jose State where he has gone 27-24-8 to date. He is 1-3 versus Boise State.
The Bronco Notebook
► Leading Boise State - To date, 12 Broncos have recorded goals on the season led by senior Shannon Saxton with six, Erica Parks and Katy Oehring are second with three goals, followed by Cheyenne Jones, Ebbie Harris, Kati Lucas, Ashley Walsh and Tylyn Hughes with two goals each. Ten players have dished out at least one assist led by Saxton with four.
► Ruiz Had Solid Season - Boise State's keeper junior Liz Ruiz ranks third in the WAC on the year in goals against average at 0.96, and leads for most saves with 107 and save percentage at 85.6.
► Broncos as a Team - Boise State struggled in the early going do to injuries and youthfulness. However, they were more consistent as the season wound down.
● Ten of the matches have been decided by one goal, Boise State is 3-7 in those contests. There has also been three draws.
● In six games decided by two or more games Boise State is 4-2. The Broncos have scored three or more goals three times this year: W 3-1 at Colorado College, W 4-0 at Hawai'i and W 6-0 vs. New Mexico State.
● Offensively to date, the team has scored 26 goals and has been shutout eight times. Defensively, they have allowed 21 goals, two on penalty kicks, and recorded five shutouts.
● In eight WAC matches, Boise State went 4-2-2 out scoring the opponents 15-7. Six of the eight league games were decided by shutouts, three won by the Broncos, two by the opponents, and one 0-0 draw.
● Overtime was not kind to Boise State earlier in the year. However, the Broncos have changed their fortunes lately in extra time. After going 0-2-1 in its first three overtime games Boise State has since gone 2-0-2 for an overall mark of 2-2-3. Four of the last five games for the Broncos all went to overtime at Utah State (0-0), at Nevada (2-1), Idaho (1-0) and Fresno State (2-2), the last two were in Boise.
► Lineup Changes - The Boise State coaching staff had a difficult season early on in finding a stable starting lineup for various reasons ranging from injuries to trying to find a successful start to matches. They have featured 10 different starting lineups this year heading into the final week.
● To date in 19 contests played they have had 11 different lineups with 23 individuals earning at least one start.
● The weekend of Sept. 17-19 versus Montana and New Mexico was the first time that Boise State had used the same lineup for two consecutive matches. However, it was different from any of the other nine contests played to date.
● The lineup has settled in since the Northern Colorado match to end the nonconference schedule. Players have regained their health which has allowed for more consistency as a result. Boise State used the same lineup for eight of the last nine contests, the one exception was at San Jose State.
● Only Ashley Walsh (junior midfielder), Chelsea Robinson (junior midfielder) and Malia Hendrix (senior defender) have started every game this season.
● Six true freshmen have started at least one match to date: Gabby Garcia, Ashley Hruby, Kallie Neimann, Katy Oehring, Rebe Wolverton and Mackenzie Hickel.
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