Soccer's 11 seniors will lead Broncos into WAC semifinal agianst Fresno State Friday at 3:00 p.m. ...

Boise State (9-6-3) is hosting the Western Athletic Conference Tournament this week at the Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex. Following Thursday’s result with #3 seed Fresno State defeating #6 seed Nevada 1-0 in the 89th minute, #2 seeded Boise State will now face the Fresno State Bulldogs (12-6-1) in Friday’s last semifinal match scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. (Mountain). In seven previous meetings all-time between the Broncos and Bulldogs four of the matches have gone to overtime including this season’s 1-1 draw in Boise on Oct. 26. The first semifinal which starts at 12:30 p.m. will feature WAC champion Hawai’i (13-4-2) against Utah State (10-10-0). The USU Aggies defeated #5 seeded San Jose State on Thursday by the score of 4-0. The two semifinal winners will advance to Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. championship match.

WAC Tournament Notes...

Looking at Boise State: The Broncos are 9-6-3 overall in their 10th season of competition. Boise State enters the tournament as the number two seed after tying with Fresno State in the WAC standings for second place at 5-1-1. The Broncos are coming off a road split to close the regular season losing at Hawai’i 5-0 on Friday (Nov. 2) then rebounding to win 2-0 at San Jose State last Sunday (Nov. 4). This is the first time in program history that Boise State has entered the league tournament as the number two seed, the previous high was the number three seed in 2001. This is the Broncos fifth WAC Tournament and third straight since joining the conference in 2001.

Boise State features the second ranked offense in the WAC with 40 goals and 34 assists for 114 total points. Entering the year, the Broncos returned six starters and 18 letterwinners from 2006, as well as, 11 seniors. This year’s squad was picked to finish sixth in the 2007 WAC race by the league’s coaches after going 7-7-4 overall and 2-3-2 in league last season.

Looking at the Bronco Leaders: Freshman Shannon Saxton finished the regular season as the Western Athletic Conference leader in goals with 17 and points with 39, both are school records. The Beaverton, Ore. native scored two goals at San Jose State in the season finale to help the Broncos place tied for second in the WAC standings. She has also recorded four match-winning goals tying her for first in the league. Saxton is tied for fifth nationally for goals scored and goals per game (0.94), fifth for points per game (2.2), and sixth in total points.

As a team, 11 Broncos have recorded goals while a total of 15 have contributed to the scoring either with a goal or an assist. Senior forward Erin Wofford has recorded four goals and five assists, junior midfielder Randi Baker has recorded four goals and three assists, sophomore Kaylea Perenon has three goals and three assists, freshman Cheyenne Jones with three goals and three assists, followed by Danielle Schwalbe with three goals and one assist. Defensively, redshirt sophomore Jennifer Burns owns a 7-4-3 record in goal and has recorded four shutouts in the 14 matches played.

Boise State Versus This Week’s Opposition...

Fresno State - Boise State is 2-4-1 all-time against Fresno State and 1-2-1 versus the Bulldogs in Boise. To date, four of the seven matches played in the series have gone to overtime where Fresno State holds a 2-1-1 advantage in extra time matches. The two tied 1-1 in Boise earlier this season with goals scored by Fresno State’s Nicole Gutierrez in the first half (36th) followed by Erin Wofford’s match tying scored in the 80th minute for Boise State.

Utah State - Utah State has dominated the series 6-2-0 all-time with Boise State since the days when both were in the Big West. However, the Broncos did win this year’s meeting 2-1 in Logan claiming their first road win ever at Utah State. After Utah State’s Sydne Porter gave the Aggies a 1-0 advantage in the 72nd minute Boise State rallied with goals by Emma Boyack in the 73rd and Randi Baker in the 86th. Boise State’s previous victory against the Aggies was a 1-0 non-conference win in 2004 in Boise.

This Week’s Opponents...

Looking at Fresno State (Match 19): Fresno State finished the season tied with the Broncos for second in the WAC race at 5-1-1, they went 11-6-1 overall. They opened the WAC Tournament with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Nevada on Thursday. That was the second consecutive win for the Bulldogs over the Wolf Pack in five days after closing the season with a 3-1 win at Nevada on Sunday. Fresno State is led by Nicole Gutierrez with 10 goals and five assists for 25 points ranking fourth in the WAC for goals (tied) and points. Amanda Reyes is second on the team with nine goals and three assists for 21 points to rank fifth in the league for goals (tied) and points.

Possible Meeting with Hawai’i (Match 20): Hawai’i swept the final two matches of the regular season to win the WAC title with a 6-1-0 record, while finishing 14-4-2 overall. They defeated Boise State 5-0 last Friday then Idaho 7-0 on Sunday. Hawai’i features the league’s top scoring offense with 57 goals and 54 assists. The Wahine are led by the WAC’s Offensive Player of the Year Ambree Ako with 12 goals and eight assists, while Taryn Fukuroku, an All-WAC honoree, has 12 goals and seven assists. The scoring duo is ranked second and third in the WAC for points.

Possible Meeting with Utah State (Match 20): The Aggies defeated Louisiana Tech 10-1 to close the regular season last Saturday. On Thursday, they opened the WAC Tournament with a convincing 4-0 victory over San Jose State. Utah State is the fourth seed into the tournament after going 5-2-0 in league play, they are currently 10-10-0 overall. Utah State features the third ranked scoring offense in the WAC with 36 goals and 29 assists. They are led by Lauren Hansen with 10 goals on the year, tied for fourth in the WAC for goals. Dana Peart is second in scoring for the Aggies with five goals and three assists to rank tied for 10th in the WAC for points.


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