Broncos to play Utah State at 3:00 p.m. on Friday in WAC semifinals.
BOISE, Idaho (11/5/2009) - With time running out in regulation, Boise State sophomore Brandy Hickcox scored on a 89th-minute free kick to lift Boise State to a 2-1 victory over Fresno State in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference Soccer Tournament Thursday afternoon in Boise. Freshman Erica Parks put the Broncos up one in the 51st minute only to see the Bulldogs even the score with a goal in the 65th. Hickcox’s late goal gave Boise State a school-record-tying 11th victory on the year and moves the Broncos into tomorrow’s semifinals against Utah State at 3:00 p.m. (Mountain).
The match was a hard fought, physical battle from the opening touch. The two teams pushed the tempo early as Boise State out shot Fresno State six-to-one in shots on goal during the opening 45 minutes. However, neither team managed to get the ball across the goal line as they settled for a scoreless draw at the break.
The second half saw the action go back and forth throughout. The Broncos opened the scoring in the 51st minute when they attacked down the left flank. Freshman Lauren Hickok drove down the flank when she passed the ball to Parks. The freshman from Nampa, Idaho, then raced down the left sideline before breaking into the Bulldogs’ 18-yard box. Parks attacked beating the charging Fresno State keeper, Kaitlyn Revel, sending the scoring strike inside the far-right post for a 1-0 Boise State advantage at the 50:58 mark.
Down one, the Bulldogs rallied in the 65th minute tying the score at one apiece. The score was setup with a long ball down the field that was momentarily won by a Bronco defender who then slipped and fell. Fresno State’s Janna Sadowitz was left open for a one-v-one fastbreak with Boise State’s keeper, Liz Ruiz. The Bronco charged but was eventually beat by Sadowitz who sent the ball into the right side of the net tying the score.
Both teams instinctively picked up the pressure after the Bulldog goal as they battled for the decisive go ahead score.
On this day the break went the way of the Broncos in the final minutes of regulation. As the clock was running down Boise State drove down the center of the field when Fresno State was called for a foul outside of their penalty box, about 21-yards out. Hickcox stepped up for the free kick that was straight down the middle. She launched the kick over the Bulldogs’ defensive wall curling the ball under the crossbar beating the keeper. Revel, the keeper, could do nothing but watch as the ball spun in the back of the net giving the Broncos a 2-1 lead with 1:50 remaining in regulation.
The victory improves Boise State to 11-6-4 on the year, while Fresno State’s season comes to an end with a 6-13-0 record. The Broncos tied the school record for wins in a season with 11, they set the mark last season going 11-8-2. Next up, Boise State, the number three seed, is a 3:00 p.m. encounter with the number two seed Utah State (10-8-2). The Aggies earned a bye into the semifinals and did not play this afternoon.
Prior to Boise State’s match, the University of Nevada (9-11-0) defeated New Mexico State University 1-0 with a goal in the first minute of the contest. The four-seed Wolf Pack will play the WAC regular season champion San Jose State Spartans (11-5-3) at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow.
Final Game Summary
#6 Fresno State (6-13-0) vs. #3 Boise State (11-6-4)
11/05/09 at Boise, Idaho (Boas Complex)
Weather: High 50’s, sunny
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Fresno State........ 0 1 - 1
Boise State......... 0 2 - 2
1. 50:58 BSU Parks, Erica (7) (Hickok, Lauren) - Break down left wing, beat keeper to right post
2. 64:41 FS Sadowitz, Janna (3) (unassisted) - defender slipped. scored on one-v-one
3. 88:10 BSU Hickcox, Brandy (3) (unassisted) - free kick from 21 yards, into right wing
Shots: Fresno State 5, Boise State 19
Shots on Goal: Fresno State 3, Boise State 10
Saves: Fresno State 8 (Revel, Kaitlyn 8), Boise State 2 (Ruiz, Liz 2)
Second match of the WAC Tournament