Bronco Soccer Team Looks for Two

The Boise State soccer team has tasted what it is like to be conference champions. Now, can they rise to the occasion to be able to repeat?

Coach Steve Lucas has risen to the top.  The likeable Boise State soccer coach has built a Western Athletic Conference Champion as his Broncos captured the 2009 league title and appeared in its first-ever NCAA National Soccer Tournament.  

Beginning in late-October, Boise State reeled off six wins in a row, including three heart-stopping victories in the WAC Tournament in Boise .  The Broncos shocked Fresno State 2-1 in the opening round, then won the next two 1-0 over both Utah State and Nevada to earn their first WAC Championship.   

Boise State won a record 13 matches against six losses and four ties and tied the school record with nine shutouts.  Coach Lucas has his Broncos getting ready for an exhibition match August 15 before the season opener August 20 at Oregon .  

Lucas is thrilled to get his group going this season, welcoming 11 players back with starting experience and two more who started as freshmen before injuries forced them to redshirt last season.   

Forward Shannon Saxton, one of the all-time greats to ever play at Boise State , returns for her senior year.  Saxton was named second-team All-WAC last season after recording six goals (second on the team) and three assists (tied for second).  She was All-WAC as a freshman and second-team as a sophomore.  Shannon shot 32-of-73 on goal to lead the Lady Broncos in both departments.  Saxton was third on the team with 43.8% of her shots on goal.  Saxton hit the game-winning shot against Idaho State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff and tied the match against Wyoming .   

In her brilliant career, Saxton has hit seven game-winning goals and recorded three game-winning assists.  As a freshman, she ranked sixth in the nation with 2.05 points per game, fourth in goals per game (.895) and tied for sixth with 17 goals.  She is firmly implanted in the school record book with 27 school records and is in the top 10 in 46 categories.  Shannon is the record holder with four goals and nine points in a game, 17 goals, eight assists and 39 points in a season and 74 points and 16 assists in a career.  Saxton also holds marks for most multi-assist games with three and is tied for the record for most multi-goal games with five.  

The fact that her individual totals have dropped off the last two years shows not only the increased level of talent around her but her unselfish play and teamwork. 
Fellow forward Erica Parks is a rising star with six starts as a freshman last season.  Parks led the Broncos with nine goals (fifth in the WAC), 20 points (7th) and four game-winning goals (1st in the WAC) and recorded two assists on the season.  Erica was third on the team with a shots-on-goal percentage of 51% (26-51).  She was honored as not only a member of the WAC All-Tournament Team but its Most Valuable Player.   

During the season, Erica was named to the Holiday Inn Classic All-Tourney Team and was honored as one of nine players on the TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week and by CollegeSoccer360.com as one of its Primetime Players of the Week for her phenomenal performance in the WAC Tournament in leading the Broncos to the conference championship.  The latter two honors represent the first time a Boise State soccer player has ever been recognized in a national magazine.  

Parks scored three goals to lead her team to the WAC title with one goal in each game.  She scored the game-winners over both Utah State and Nevada in the semifinal and final, respectively.  Parks took a pass from fellow freshman Maureen Fitzgerald against Utah State in the 58th minute as she made a move towards the Utah State goal.  Parks split two Aggie defenders to launce the winning shot just inside the right post.  Her goal in the WAC championship match game in the 23rd minute on another beautiful pass from Fitzgerald as the two hooked up again.  Parks got open and volleyed the ball in from six yards out.  

Two recruits—forwards Ashley Hruby and Kati Lucas were signed this year.  Although Saxton and Parks provide Boise State with two of the top forwards in the WAC, the position needs depth and Saxton graduates next spring.  

Hruby played at Union High School in Vancouver , Washington , earning three straight all-league honors.  An honorable mention all-state selection as a senior, Hruby played forward and midfield for FC Portland and was on the Oregon Olympic Development Team for three years.   

Kati Lucas was brought in this year as a junior college transfer from JUCO power Walla Walla .  Walla Walla has won the Eastern Division title of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) seven consecutive years and last year won the NWAACC Championship.  Last season, Lucas had 23 goals with 14 assists for 60 points and was a conference All-Star.  Lucas led the conference in assists and was second in goals.  In two seasons at Walla Walla , Lucas had 46 goals and 25 assists, played in both conference all-star games including being named All-Star Most Valuable Player in 2008 when she scored three goals.  

The midfielders will be Brandy Hickcox, Lauren Hickok, Cheyenne Jones and Chelsea Robinson.  Hickcox scored the game-winner against Fresno State .  Given a free kick from 21 yards away, she sent a rocket over the Bulldog wall and under the crossbar to help the Broncos advance.  She also hit the game-winner during the regular season against Nevada .  Brandy started 23 games and was third on the team with three goals for six points.  She was an active part of the Bronco offense, placing 15-of-50 shots on target.  Hickcox was named second-team All-WAC for the second consecutive year and was also a member of the WAC Tournament Team.  During the season, Hickcox was also named to the Governor's Cup and Cowgirl Classic All-Tournament Teams.

Hickcox started 31 games as an underclassman and has five goals and has hit 24-of-74 shots on goal. 

Jones started 23 games for the Broncos last season, scoring two goals and getting an assist for five points.  She placed 17-of-35 shots on goal.  Jones will be counted on for senior leadership.    Cheyenne got credit for the game-winning goal in the win at Portland State .  In her career, Jones has 56 starts with seven goals and five career assists (total of 19 career points).  She has been highly accurate throughout her Bronco career, placing 38-71 shots on target.  Cheyenne has the game-winning goal mentioned above and two game-winning assists at Boise State .  

Sophomore Hickok is one of the bright new talents for Boise State and the outlook is for her to move to midfielder this fall.  She started 23 games at defender as a freshman, getting an assist and putting six-of-15 shots on goal.  Lauren got credit for the assist in the first goal of the Fresno State match in the WAC semifinals.  Hickok was honored as WAC Defensive Player of the Week She was named to the Governor's Cup and Wyoming Cowgirl Classic All-Tournament Teams and was the Cowgirl Classic MVP.   

Robinson started 13 games last fall and showed versatility starting at both midfield and forward.  The 5-3 junior scored one goal and had three assists for a total of five points.  Chelsea made her assists count—all three of them were game-winning assists ( Fresno State , Hawai'i and San Jose State during the regular season).  She hit nine of her 17 shots on goal, second on the team with 52.9%.  

Junior Ashley Walsh got three starts last season in mostly a defensive midfield role.  She scored one goal and had an assist, placing three of 13 shots on goal.  Walsh was in the right place at the right time when she booted home the game-winner at Fresno State .  

Janelle Jin will be a sophomore and looking to make a key contribution after an injury suffered late in 2008 forced her to redshirt last season.  Coach Lucas knows she can be a factor, starting her in three matches as a freshman.  Jin had two goals and an assist in 19 contests for a total of five points.  In that time, Jin placed six-of-13 shots on goal.  She scored the game-winner against Idaho State in 2008.  

Jayne Murray saw action in 12 matches as a reserve.  She scored two goals and put four-of-six shots on goal to lead Boise State with a 66.7% shots on goal percentage.   

Lucas signed Alison Clarkson, Gabriella Garcia, Mackenzie Hickel, Tylyn Hughes, Kallie Neimann, Katy Oehring and Rebe Wolverton to letters of intent to provide depth at midfield.  It is likely that several of these players will see action this fall.  Clarkson was a midfielder for Auburn Mountainview High School in Washington state and also the Washington Premier Football Club.  Clarkson was voted team MVP her senior year and earned two straight all-league honors.  "I chose Boise State because the size of the city and location of the school fits my lifestyle. Boise State 's soccer program is the best fit for me, and the academic offerings will help me achieve my long term goals."   

Garcia was a midfielder for the So Cal Blues Soccer Club in Murrieta , California .  Garcia also played on the Puerto Rico U17 National Team and played in the U17 World Cup.  The Blues finished second and third the past two years in the USYSA National Championships.  "I chose Boise State because I fell in love with the campus, town and weather of Boise . Also, because Boise State 's athletic program and coaches are so awesome and the team seemed very cool, nice and close."  

Hickel played fullback at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way , Washington and was a member of the Eastside Soccer Club.  She was an all-league performer her senior year.  Mackenzie also is a 300-meter hurdles record holder in track.  " Boise State has every major I would consider going into and has an amazing energy on campus that just fills you. When I arrived the first time, I knew I wanted to become a part of the Bronco Nation and feel that energy every day."  

Hughes was an all-league and all-state performer at Westview High in Portland and played for the THUSC Neon Soccer Club.  THUSC Neon is the defending four-time State Cup Champions and two-time Regional Quarterfinalist.  Tylyn also earned Academic All-State her junior and senior years.  

Neimann was a teammate of Hughes at Westview and on the THUSC Neon club.  She too was an Academic All-State student the last two years.   

Oehring was an all-league and honorable mention all-state player at Heritage High School in Littleton , Colorado and also played for the Real Colorado Soccer Club.  Katy can play both fullback and midfield.  "I decided to go to Boise State because the area is great and it's so much like my home town in Colorado ."  

Wolverton can play several positions but played in the center for nationally-ranked Jesuit High School in Portland , Oregon .  Wolverton started all four years for Jesuit and was second-team all-league her senior year in leading Jesuit to the State Championship.  Rebe also played club ball at FC Portland and was a member of the Oregon Olympic Development team for two years.  "I decided to come to Boise State because I felt welcomed by the coaching staff and players when I visited. It is a good atmosphere to play Division I soccer, and I loved the support the city gives to the university."  

Malia Hendrix will be back as a defender for her senior year.  She was rugged and dependable in all 24 starts last season.  Malia placed four of nine shots on goal during the season and was a member of the WAC All-Tournament team.  The former transfer from Montana has 44 starts in her Bronco career with two assists (both game-winners) and 11-19 shots on goal.

Junior Lindsay Roberts will be the center back once again for the Broncos.  She started 23 matches last season, getting an assist and placing two-of-five shots on goal.  Roberts was honored as First Team All-WAC and was named as the team's defensive MVP.  In two years, Roberts has 44 starts with two assists (one a game-winner) and four-of-10 shots on goal. 

Mandy Nader and Serena Montova will battle for the other starting job at defender.  Nader was one of several Broncos to redshirt last season due to injury.  She was a huge contributor as a freshman, starting 13 games in 2008.  Mandy took five shots in '08 with two on goal. 

Montova helped Boise State in 13 matches last season including a start.  She logged 186 minutes on the season as a sophomore and will look to make her presence felt this fall. 

Brianne Favatella saw action in five games as a freshman, putting one shot out of two on goal.  Junior Tiffany Hall-Johnson got her feet wet in a reserve role vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and hopes to make an impact this fall. 

Liz Ruiz has been phenomenal in goal for the Lady Broncos.  Ruiz earned the starting spot when WAC play began and started 14 matches.  As a sophomore, Ruiz allowed just 13 goals in 1,299 minutes (.90 goals against average for second in the WAC) and had 66 saves for a .835 save percentage, also second in conference play.  Ruiz helped the Broncos tie a school record with five shutouts and her record in goal was 10-4-1 .  Liz allowed just one goal in the three games of the WAC Tournament and was named to the All-Tournament Team.  She was honored during the year as WAC Defensive Player of the Week following a shutout win at Louisiana Tech.  Ruiz has eight shutouts in 22 career starts. 

Megan Blanchard tended goal for one game as a freshman with no goals allowed and will likely play more of a role this fall spelling Ruiz.   

Maddy McDevitt was brought on to provide depth at goalkeeper.  She is from Kings High School and the Eastside Soccer Club in Edmonds , Washington and a five-time member of the Washington ODP team.  McDevitt was an all-league and all-state performer her senior year and also won two all-league honorable mention awards.  Maddy helped the Emerald City Football Club win three State Cup titles before moving to Eastside.  "I decided to go to Boise State because it has everything I am looking for in a school and soccer program. I love the campus and am excited to be a part of Bronco athletics."  

The Broncos dive into action in an exhibition August 15 in Walla Walla , Washington against North Idaho .  The competition gets stiff in a hurry with a battle against Oregon looming five days later in Eugene .  The Broncos also have non-conference matches scheduled at home against Seattle and road tilts galore vs. Portland State, Air Force, Colorado College, Utah Valley, Idaho State, Montana, New Mexico, Wyoming and Northern Colorado.  It would be nice if some schools decided to visit Idaho 's capital city.  That schedule will give Boise State good road experience but may make them weary.  

The WAC schedule gets underway on October 1 on the islands against Hawai'i .  Boise State also travels to Utah State and league runners-up Nevada (both tough contests) and will visit San Jose State as well.  The Broncos host New Mexico State , Louisiana Tech, Idaho and Fresno State at Boas Athletic Complex.  

Given the wealth of quality experience returning this fall for Coach Lucas's team, the Broncos should once again contend for the WAC title.  Defending the crown is always tougher and will take solid improvement.

 

 

Oct. 1 * Hawaii 7:00 pm Honolulu , HI

Oct. 8 * New Mexico St. 4:00 pm Boise , ID

Oct. 10 * Louisiana Tech 1:00 pm Boise , ID

Oct. 15 * Utah St. 3:00 pm Logan , UT

Oct. 17 * Nevada 1:00 pm (pt) Reno , NV

Oct. 24 * Idaho 1:00 pm Boise , ID

Oct. 29 * Fresno State 4:00 pm Boise , ID

Oct. 31 * San Jose St. 1:00 pm (pt) San Jose , CA

 

 

2010 Bronco Schedule

 

 

Date Opponent Time Location

Aug. 15 North Idaho College (Exhibition) 1:00 pm Walla Walla , WA

Aug. 20 Oregon 7:00 pm (pt) Eugene , OR

Aug. 22 Portland State 11:00 am (pt) Portland , OR

Air Force Fall Classic

Aug. 27 Air Force 7:00 pm Colorado Springs , CO

Aug. 29 Colorado College 12:00 pm Colorado Springs, CO

Governor's Cup

Sept. 3 Utah Valley 2:30 pm Pocatello , ID

Sept. 5 Idaho State 2:00 pm Pocatello , ID

Sept. 12 Seattle 1:00 pm Boise , ID

Montana Tournament

Sept. 17 Montana 6:00pm Missoula , MT

Sept. 19 New Mexico 11:00am Missoula , MT

Sept. 24 Wyoming 4:00 pm Laramie , WY

Sept. 26 Northern Colorado 12:00 pm Greeley , CO

Oct. 1 * Hawaii 7:00 pm Honolulu , HI

Oct. 8 * New Mexico St. 4:00 pm Boise , ID

Oct. 10 * Louisiana Tech 1:00 pm Boise , ID

Oct. 15 * Utah St. 3:00 pm Logan , UT

Oct. 17 * Nevada 1:00 pm (pt) Reno , NV

Oct. 24 * Idaho 1:00 pm Boise , ID

Oct. 29 * Fresno State 4:00 pm Boise , ID

Oct. 31 * San Jose St. 1:00 pm (pt) San Jose , CA

 

 

The 2010 Lady Broncos:

 

23  

Blanchard, Megan

GK

5-8

So.

Fresno , CA (San Joaquin Memorial HS)

21  

Clarkson, Alison

MF

5-6

Fr.

Auburn , WA (Mountainview HS)

25  

Favatella, Brianne

D

5-9

So.

Colorado Springs , CO (Pine Creek HS)

6  

Garcia, Gabby

MF

5-3

Fr.

Murietta , CA ( Murietta Valley HS)

18  

Hall-Johnson, Tiffany

D

5-3

Jr.

Boise , ID ( Boise HS)

27  

Harris, Ebie

F

5-8

So.

Modesto , CA (Beyer HS)

24  

Hendrix, Malia

D

5-6

Sr.

Boise , ID ( Montana ) (Timberline HS)

7  

Hickcox, Brandy

MF

5-4

Jr.

Boise , ID (Capital HS)

22  

Hickel, McKenzie

MF

5-5

Fr.

Federal Way, WA (Todd Beamer HS)

9  

Hickok, Lauren

MF

5-6

So.

Bozeman , MT ( Bozeman HS)

29  

Hruby, Ashley

F

5-8

Fr.

Vancouver , WA (Union HS)

5  

Hughes, Tylyn

MF

5-6

Fr.

Portland , OR (Westview HS)

15  

Jin, Janelle

MF

5-3

So.

Castro Valley , CA ( Castro Valley HS)

11  

Jones, Cheyenne

MF

5-4

Sr.

Aloha, OR ( Hillsboro HS)

26  

Lucas, Kati

F

5-8

Jr.

Richland , WA (Walla Walla CC) ( Richland HS)

28  

McDevitt, Maddy

GK

5-8

Fr.

Edmonds , WA (Kings HS)

19  

Montoya, Serena

D

5-3

Jr.

Greenwood Village , CO (Cherry Creek HS)

8  

Murray, Jayne

MF

5-5

Sr.

Calgary , Alberta (John G. Diefenbaker HS)

10  

Nader, Mandy

D

5-5

So.

Orange , CA (Orange Lutheran HS)

14  

Neimann, Kallie

MF

5-9

Fr.

Portland , OR (Westview HS)

17  

Oehring, Katy

MF

5-11

Fr.

Littleton , CO (Heritage HS)

16  

Parks, Erica

F

5-5

So.

Nampa , ID (Skyview HS)

3  

Roberts, Lindsay

D

5-4

Jr.

Richland , WA ( Richland HS)

20  

Robinson, Chelsea

MF

5-3

Jr.

Portland , OR (Sunset HS)

1  

Ruiz, Liz

GK

5-7

Jr.

Boise , ID (Capital HS)

13  

Saxton, Shannon

F

5-6

Sr.

Beaverton , OR ( Beaverton HS)

2  

Walsh, Ashley

MF

5-6

Jr.

Vancouver , WA (Central Catholic HS)

12  

Wolverton, Rebe

MF

5-3

Fr.

Portland , OR (Jesuit HS)

 

 

 

 


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