► What’s Happening - Boise State University (10-7-2, 3-3-1 WAC) heads to the Western Athletic Conference Tournament at Reno, Nev., as the number four seed. First up on their schedule is a rematch of last Sunday’s regular season finale with the San Jose State Spartans (5-10-4, 2-4-1 WAC) the fifth seed. The Broncos won the first encounter with SJSU 2-1 in the 88th minute in Boise and leads the overall series 5-2-2. The Tournament is being hosted by the University of Nevada in Mackay Stadium with Boise State’s quarterfinal match-up with the Spartans on Thursday scheduled to kick-off at 4:00 p.m. (Mountain Time).
Looking at Boise State...
► Recently for Boise State - Boise State closed the regular season by tying the school record for wins at 10-7-2 overall while finishing with a 3-3-1 league mark to place fourth. Last weekend in Boise to close the season, Boise State lost a hard fought battle 2-1 with Hawai’i on Friday, then rebounded to defeat San Jose State on Sunday 2-1 to tie the record win mark.
► Last Time Against San Jose State: BSU 2, SJSU 1 - Boise State surrendered a goal to the Spartans’ Emmy Belding in the 34th minute to go down 1-0 at the half. The Broncos then dominated the second period holding San Jose State without a shot in the final 45 minutes. Meanwhile, Boise State rallied for the victory with two unanswered second half goals. Kaylea Perenon tied the match with a high lob shot in the 58th minute, followed by Randi Baker’s match-winner in the 88th when she launched a rocket that sailed inside the left post for the win.
► The San Jose State versus Boise State Series - The Broncos lead in the overall series 5-2-2. With last weekend’s 2-1 victory in Boise, the Broncos have won two straight over the Spartans preceded by a draw. Interestingly enough, that draw (0-0) was in the WAC Tournament quarterfinals at Reno, Nev., in 2006. The Spartans advanced into the semifinals by edging the Broncos on penalty-kicks.
► Broncos Looking for first tournament win - Boise State has qualified for five of the previous seven WAC Tournaments since joining the league in 2001. 2008 marks their sixth trip to the league’s championship event. Unfortunately, the Broncos are still looking for their first ever victory in the annual competition. Their closest match to date was a 0-0 draw with San Jose State in the 2006 tournament at Reno, Nev., where the Spartans advanced to the semifinals based on a penalty-kick shootout.
► Boise State Ties School Record For Wins In A Season - With Boise State’s 2-1 win over San Jose State last Sunday, the Broncos’ young squad featuring 19 underclassmen has tied the record for most wins in a season with 10. They can break the record with a WAC quarterfinal victory over San Jose State this Thursday at Reno, Nev. This is the fifth consecutive season for Boise State to finish at .500 or above and the fourth in five with a winning record.
► saxton Continues to impress as Sophomore - Sophomore Shannon Saxton continues to lead Boise State and is on pace to become the Broncos best all-time. As a freshman in 2007 she shattered the program record for goals in a season with 17, catapulting her to second all-time in goals scored. In addition, she added five assists to her 2007 totals for 39 points, new record for points in a season. 2008 a new season same story, even though opponents played more attention to her this season holding her to a team-high six goals, the sophomore from Beaverton, Ore., countered by dishing out a school record for assists in a season with eight giving her a team-best 20 points on the season.
► Senior Class winningest group all-time - This year’s senior class of Randi Baker, Emma Boyack, and Katie Derden are the program’s all-time winningest class. They finished the regular season with the record clinching victory giving them a total of 36 victories. That tally surpasses last year’s class which had with 35 wins. The 2008 seniors have gone 36-28-11 overall to date, 2007’s seniors went out 35-30-11 overall.
► Broncos Claim 2008 Gem State championship - Chelsea Robinson scored the match-winner over the University of Idaho to lead Boise State to a 1-0 victory over the Vandals in Moscow on Sunday Oct. 19. Boise State completed the sweep of their two instate-rivals with the win to claim the 2008 Gem State championship. The Broncos defeated Idaho State University 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 20 points on six goals and a league-high/school record eight assists. Saxton’s point total ranks her second in the WAC while her six goals have her ranked tied for seventh. Andrea Huerta is second in scoring with five goals and two assists for 12 points. The duo is followed on the team by senior Randi Baker with four goals and one assists, then freshman Chelsea Robinson with eight points this season on three goals and two assists.
► Statistically as a team - Offensively on the year, Boise State features the WAC’s fourth ranked scoring offense with 29 goals for a 1.53 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 29 goals, while a total of nine have dished out at least one of the 20 assists on the season. Defensively, Boise State ranks third for fewest goals allowed with 20 for a 1.04 goals against average, they have also recorded five 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 came 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 72-78-18 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 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 27-13-10 (.640) all-time on their home turf. This season Boise State went 3-2-2 at home.
Looking at Thursday’s Match (#20): Nov. 6 vs. San Jose St. ...
► The regular season ended with Boise State defeating San Jose State 2-1 last Sunday in Boise. San Jose State enters the tournament as the number five seed with a 2-4-1 conference mark tied for fifth place and a 5-10-4 overall record. They tied with Nevada in the conference standings but won the tiebreaker because of their victory over the Wolf Pack.
The Series: Boise State leads the overall series 5-2-2. The Broncos won 2-1 over the Spartans last week. Last year, the Broncos shutout the Spartans during the season finale in San Jose, Calif., by the score of 2-0.
Who To Watch: Emmy Belding leads San Jose State in scoring on the year with seven goals and one assist, she scored the lone goal in Sunday’s match at Boise State. She is followed by Roxy Kamal with two goals and two assists, and Katie Bonadies with two goals.
As a Team: Offensively, the Spartans have the sixth ranked scoring offense in the WAC on the year with 16 goals to their credit for a 0.84 goals per match average. Defensively, they rank fifth for goals allowed with 26 for a 1.28 goals against average.
About the Spartans: San Jose State returned nine letterwinners and four starters from last year’s 4-15-2 squad that went 2-5 in league to place tied for fifth. They are in their first season under the direction of head coach Jeff Leightman. This year’s version of the Spartans was selected to place sixth in this season’s WAC race by the conference’s coaches.
Looking at Friday’s Potential Match (#21): Nov. 7 vs. Utah State ...
► The Aggies ran through the conference scheduled undefeated at 7-0-0 to claim the their first regular soccer title since joining the league in 2005. Last week they defeated Louisiana Tech 1-0 in Ruston to complete the WAC sweep of all league games to enter the tournament as the number one seed. In relation to Boise State, they played in Boise on Oct. 12 when they handed the Broncos 2-0 defeat.
The Series: Utah State leads the overall series 7-2-0. The Aggies won this season’s encounter, however, last year the Broncos defeated USU 2-1 in Logan. The series between these two schools dates back to win they where both members of the Big West Conference 1998 through 2001 when Boise State left to join the WAC. Utah State later followed the same course joining the WAC in 2005.
Who To Watch: Lauren Hansen leads the Aggies in scoring with seven goals to go with three assists, tied for second in the WAC for goals scored. Shantel Flanary is second in scoring for USU with five goals and two assists followed by Candice Clark with five goals and one assist.
As a Team: Offensively, the Aggies have the third ranked scoring offense in the WAC on the year with 30 goals to their credit for a 1.05 goals per match average. Defensively, they rank fourth for goals allowed with 22 for a 1.08 goals against average.
About the Aggies: 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.