Boise State Soccer is Off to LA for First Round of NCAA Tournament ...

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
► What’s Happening - This week Boise State University heads off to Los Angeles, Calif., for its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance where the Broncos (13-6-4) will meet the UCLA Bruins (17-2-1) on their home field. The Bruins enter the tournament ranked third nationally by NSCAA and are the No. 1 seed in this bracket.

The Boise State-UCLA match kicks off at 6:30 p.m. (Mountain) on Friday and will be the first of two contests played that evening at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus. The University of San Diego (12-6-2) will meet San Diego State University (14-3-5) in the second game on Friday. The winners of Friday’s first round matches will meet at 2:00 p.m. (Mountain) on Sunday in a second round contest at Drake Stadium.

The ultimate goal of these four teams is to reach the Women’s College Cup in College Station, Texas, Dec. 4 and 6.


Looking at Boise State...

► Boise State NCAA Tournament History - This marks the first time that the Boise State soccer team has advanced to the NCAA National Tournament. 2009 is the 12th year of the Bronco program which began in the fall of 1998 as a member of the Big West Conference, Boise State joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in the summer of 2001.

► What’s Happened Recently -
Boise State enters the NCAA Tournament on a roll with a six-game win streak and a 13-6-4 overall record. Not bad for a team that was sweating the possibility of not even making it to the league tournament (only the top six of nine schools qualify) on their home field entering the final two weeks of the season at 2-3. The Broncos won three straight to close the regular season tying for third place in the WAC standings with a 5-3 mark. Boise State then won three straight in the league tournament to claim the title and a berth into the NCAA Tournament. 

► Boise State WAC Champions - The Broncos are fresh off a Western Athletic Conference Tournament run last weekend where they won three matches in four days to claim the league championship on their home field in Boise. Boise State entered the competition as the No. 3 seed. The Broncos’ tournament run included a 2-1 victory over Fresno State in the first round, then followed with a pair of 1-0 shutouts over No. 2 seed Utah State in the semifinals and No. 4 seed Nevada in the title match. Prior to this year’s WAC championship event the Broncos had won one match in six previous tournament appearances going 1-5-1, that one win was in the 2008 first round.       

Erica Parks Racks Up The Honors - Boise State freshman forward Erica Parks led the Broncos to the WAC championship this past weekend scoring in all three wins, including the game-winners in the semifinal and title matches. For her outstanding performance the Nampa, Idaho, native was named to the all-tournament team and the MVP. Since then she has been named the Boise State Student-Athlete of the Week, named to TopDrawSoccer’s National Team of the Week and CollegeSoccer360.com’s Primetime Performers of the Week for Nov. 2-8.

► Four Broncos Make WAC All-Tournament Team - Boise State was represented by four players on this year’s WAC All-Tournament team after the Broncos won the championship. Representing Boise State were freshman forward Erica Parks, who was also named the MVP, junior defender Malia Hendrix, sophomore midfielder Brandy Hickcox and sophomore goalkeeper Liz Ruiz.

► Roberts, Saxton, and Hickcox Named All-WAC - Boise State’s Shannon Saxton, Lindsay Roberts and Brandy Hickcox were named to the 2009 All-WAC teams. Representing the Broncos on the All-WAC first team was sophomore defender Lindsay Roberts, her first ever postseason honor. Making the second-team was junior forward Shannon Saxton and sophomore midfielder Brandy Hickcox. It was the third time that Saxton has received All-WAC postseason honors and the second time for Hickcox.

► Bronco Streaks -
Boise State finished the regular season on a three-game win streak which guaranteed the following: the Broncos fifth consecutive WAC Tournament berth, their third consecutive winning season, their sixth straight season at .500 or above (five winning seasons, one at .500), and the program’s first ever back-to-back seasons with double-figure wins.

► 2009 Scoring Leaders - Freshman Erica Parks leads the team in scoring with nine goals and two assists for 20 points. She is followed by junior Shannon Saxton with six goals and two assists for 14 points. Another freshman, Maureen Fitzgerald is third in scoring with two goals and a team-high seven assists for 11 points.

► 2009 Team Stats - To date, Boise State has recorded 30 goals and 24 assists. Ten different individuals have scored a goal and 13 have recorded an assist. Boise State averages 1.3 goals per game and has a shots on goal percentage of 43 percent. Defensively, the Broncos have recorded nine shutouts, ties record for most SO in a season, on the year and have allowed 18 goals this season for a league-best 0.75 goals against average.   

► Bronco Defense Closing in on Two School Records - If the 2009 campaign was over today the Boise State defense would set two new school season records for fewest goals allowed and lowest goals against average. Heading into the NCAA Tournament, the Broncos have allowed 18 goals this season, the current record is 19 set in 2004. Boise State could also set the new mark for lowest goals against average in a season with its 0.75 GAA this year, the record is 0.96 set in 2004.

► Saxton Eyes Career Record for Goals -
In nearly three years Shannon Saxton has written her name into the Bronco record book ranking in the top-10 of 46 categories. On Sunday, Oct. 18, she set another school record for career points when she scored the Broncos lone goal at Idaho giving her 73 points to pass Brittany Zoellner’s (1999-03) mark of 72. Saxton is now within one goal of tying Zoellner’s record for career goals at 30, she has 29 entering the NCAA Tournament. Other career records the Beaverton, Ore., native holds include most assists with 15, most multi-assist games with three, and tied for first in most multi-goal games with five. 

► The Head Coach - The 2009 season marks Steve Lucas’ 10th as head coach of the Broncos where he currently owns  a 86-85-22 record to date. This is Lucas’ 12th season overall with the program after serving two years as the assistant before his promotion in 2000. Against this week’s competition, Lucas has never coached against any of the three possible opponents.



Looking at UCLA...

► About UCLA - The Bruins enter the tournament ranked third nationally by the NSCAA coaches poll with a record of 17-2-1. They placed second in the Pacific-10 Conference race with an 8-1 mark after winning the championship the previous six years. This is the 10th consecutive year that UCLA has played in the NCAA Tournament reaching the Women’s College Cup (final four) the last three years, but its has not won the title. The Bruins have won five in a row scoring two or more goals in each of the wins. Their two loses have come against two teams ranked No. 1 nationally at the time the match was played, a 7-2 defeat at North Carolina and a 2-0 loss at Pac-10 champion Stanford.

► UCLA In 2009 -
Sydney Leroux leads the team in scoring with 15 goals and two assists followed by Lauren Cheney with 13 goals and six assists. UCLA has recorded 52 goals and 52 assists during the year and has allowed 18 goals for a 0.88 goals against average.  

► The Series - Friday’s encounter between Boise State and UCLA is the first ever meeting in the series. The Broncos are 0-6-1 all-time versus the Pac-10; 0-2 vs. California, 0-2 vs. Oregon, 0-1-1 vs. Oregon State and 0-1 vs. Washington State.
 


Looking at San Diego State...

► About SDSU - The Aztecs enter the tournament at 14-3-5 overall and have an active 15-game unbeaten streak going which includes seven-straight wins. They finished the Mountain West Conference regular season in second place with a 5-0-2 mark. They won their first ever MWC Tournament crown with a 1-0 victory over then eighth-ranked BYU to claim their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1999.

► The Aztecs In 2009 -  Cat walker leads the Aztecs in scoring with 10 goals and five assists followed by Niki Fernandes with six goals and seven assists. San Diego State has recorded 35 goals and 29 assists on the year while allowing 21 goals for a 0.90 goals against average.  

► The Series - This is the first time that Boise State has met San Diego State in soccer. The Broncos are 1-8-2 all-time versus the current members of the Mountain West. Boise State drew with Wyoming 1-1 on Sept. 20 of this year in Boise. The Broncos lone win is against Air Force by the score of 2-1 in 2005.

 

Looking at San Diego...

► About San Diego - The Toreros enter the tournament at 12-6-2 overall and are coming off a regular season ending 2-0 loss at No. 2 Portland last Friday. Prior to that USD had won five straight matches. The Toreros finished the West Coast Conference campaign in second place with a 5-2 mark. This will mark the third consecutive season the Toreros have received an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

► The Toreros In 2009 -  The Toreros are led offensively by sophomore forward Stephanie Ochs, who has a team-leading six goals, and a team-best eight assists for 20 points. San Diego’s defense is anchored down by sophomore goalkeeper Courtney Parsons, who has posted seven shutouts on the season and has posted a goals-against-average of 1.15.    

► The Series - This is the first time that Boise State has met San Diego on the soccer field. The Broncos are 2-6 all-time versus the current membership of the WCC. Boise State defeated Gonzaga 1-0 earlier this year in Laramie, Wyoming, both of the Broncos’ wins have come against the Bulldogs.