Hailey DeVries sent a laser to the left side of the goal just out of reach of diving Ute goalkeeper Lindsey Luke with 22 seconds remaining in regulation, and after two overtimes, Boise State and Utah finished in a 1-1 tie at the Boas Soccer Complex in Boise yesterday.
Coming back from a goal in the 37th minute by Utah's Mikayla Elmer, the Broncos peppered the Ute box with shots in the final 10 minutes. In the final minute-and-a-half of regulation, the Bronco attack grew furious, and Utah was unable to clear the ball away from the box. When Boise State's Michelle Reed looked to make something happen, she went to the ground. A penalty was called, and with those 22 seconds remaining, DeVries stood ready with the first penalty try of her collegiate career. DeVries rared back and booted the ball the only place she could have scored on, just inside the left post. When the ball found the net, the Bronco players and crowd were ecstatic.
"Hailey practices her penalty kicks every day," said Bronco head coach Jim Thomas. "It's one of her favorite things about the game. I'm not really sure why, but she's always had a thing for it. I'm proud of her for having the courage to step up at the end of the game. She worked hard today. To be that fatigued at the end and do something that tightly skillful is hard, especially against a goalkeeper of that caliber."
"I love the thrill behind it and the excitement that comes with your entire team counting on you to step up," DeVries said. "It's all up to you. It just gets my adrenaline going and I'm excited and I'm hyped! I'm glad my team can count on me."
But two overtimes were not enough to settle the score, and the game ended in a draw. Despite the score, the Broncos controlled the action for most of the game, and outshot the Utes, 22-11.
"You only have to be around Bronco Nation for about five minutes to feel the love of the crowd and see the chemistry of the team," said Thomas of the team's ability to keep their heads up late in the game and find the tying opportunity. "They'll fight to the death and that's become a calling card for us. It paid off with a great result for us today."
Utah scored in the 37th minute when a well-placed pass to the top of the box left Mikayla Elmer all alone on the right side of the Bronco goal. Flores forced an Elmer shot to the far post, which hit the bar and bounced back to Elmer's feet. Elmer poked in the rebound to the near post between the diving attempts of sophomore goalkeeper Janelle Flores and freshman forward Allegra Weeks.
The tenacious play of Boise State freshman forward Laura Buck added drama to the end of regulation. Buck came off the bench to send three shots on goal in the match, with Luke deflecting all three away with great saves. Seconds before the Broncos made their last charge that resulted in the tying goal, Brooke Heidemann flew down the right flank and sent a centering pass to the middle of the box. Buck approached the ball, allowed it to take a high hop and headed it towards the right post. Luke changed direction and leaped to snag the ball out of the air. But, not to be denied, the Broncos kept up their aggressive play that resulted in DeVries' tying goal.
Both teams had chances to resolve the tie in the second overtime, but Flores turned away two Ute shots and Heidemann's scoring opportunity sailed high.
The Broncos have a day to recover from the emotional game before hosting Weber State at 1 p.m. tomorrow.