Erica Parks scored match-winner in 58th minute.
BOISE, Idaho (11/6/2009) - Erica Parks scored the game-winner in the 58th minute as Boise State defeated Utah State 1-0 in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament Friday afternoon in Boise. The win moves Boise State to 12-6-4 on the year setting a school record for victories, it is also the fifth consecutive win for the Broncos. Boise State will now face the Nevada Wolf Pack in the tournament championship match at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday at Boise State University’s Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex.
"Erica did a great job of finishing on that goal," said head coach Steve Lucas. "We talked about needing to take advantage of whatever chances we had against Utah State as they are good. She finished strong on the play and we got the goal we needed."
The match was a defensive battle as neither team had many decent scoring opportunities during the 90 minutes of action. The Broncos held a slim advantage in shots on goal by a four-to-one margin. Each team took six shots in the opening period but only managed to place one each on frame as they settled for a scoreless draw at the intermission.
The second half was rough as both teams put everything in to the match trying to get the break through goal. A combined 33 fouls were called during the contest, 10 of Boise State’s 15 were in the second half while 11 of Utah State’s 18 were in the final period.
The Broncos took the lead in the 58th minute when a pair of freshmen teamed up for the decisive goal. Maureen Fitzgerald played the ball to Parks who drove towards goal, splitting a pair of defenders before launch the scoring strike inside the right post for the 1-0 Boise State lead. It is the second goal of the tournament and eighth of the season for the freshman from Nampa, Idaho, who leads the team in scoring. Fitzgerald increased her team lead for assists to six on the year.
Neither team was able to beat the keepers in the final 32 minutes of play as the Broncos held on to win the match. It was the second time in two years that the Aggies and Broncos played in the WAC semifinals, Utah State defeated the Boise State 1-0 in Reno, Nev., last season.
Entering the week Boise State had won just one match in six previous WAC Tournament appearances, that came in last year’s opening round. The Broncos have won two at this year’s tournament and will now play for their first ever title on Sunday against the Nevada. The Wolf Pack upset the WAC’s regular season champion San Jose State Spartans in the first match today by the score of 1-0. In the first Boise State-Nevada meeting this fall the Broncos defeated the Wolf Pack 2-0 in Boise on Oct. 11.
Final Game Summary
Western Athletic Conference Tournament
Utah State (10-9-2) vs. Boise State (12-6-4)
11/06/09 at Boise, Idaho
Weather: mid 50’s,overcast w/rain
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Utah State.......... 0 0 - 0
Boise State......... 0 1 - 1
1. 57:27 BSU Parks, Erica (7) (Fitzgerald, Maureen) - split two defenders scored from 10 yards inside far right post
Shots: Utah State 12, Boise State 14
Shots on Goal: Utah State 1, Boise State 4
Saves: Utah State 3 (Merrill, Molli 3), Boise State 1 (Ruiz, Liz 1)