Sept. 26, 2014
|Cadet Soccer Stadium | USAFA, Colo.|
|Boise State Broncos||Air Force Falcons|
|Ally Swift 20' Brooke Rittmann 63'|
Final Stats | Photo Gallery | VIDEO: Jim Thomas Postgame InterviewUSAFA, Colo.-
Boise State women's soccer dropped its Mountain West opener Friday, at Air Force. The Broncos fell 2-0 despite holding a 21-10 advantage in shots. The Falcons converted a penalty kick following a hand ball in the box in the 20th minute to take the early lead before holding off a flurry of Boise State attacks and scoring a second-half goal for extra cushion.
The Broncos (3-4-3, 0-1-0 MW) put eight shots on goal, including five in a furious second half. Boise State's attack constantly pressured Air Force (4-4-0, 1-0-0 MW), but did not net a goal. The 21 shots are a season high. The Falcons were selective in their attacks, putting eight of their 10 shots on goal.
"We won't forget about this one, ever," said head coach Jim Thomas. "As much as we enjoy winning, we don't like losing. Ultimately, congratulations to Air Force. They were brilliant tonight. I thought at times we were very good too. We had some good moments and controlled large parts of the game. With a young squad you learn very quickly there are key moments in a game that can swing the result one way or the other. We got burned by a couple of those moments tonight and just couldn't climb the hill."
Air Force's first goal was set up by getting to the box and sending a shot off the arm of a charging Bronco defender. The deflection was whistled for a penalty kick. Ally Swift converted the shot as Bronco keeper Janelle Flores dove left and the shot was to her right. It was the first penalty kick Flores faced. The freshman keeper turned away six shots after that, including a header off a free kick late in the first half that appeared it would give Air Force a two-goal lead headed into the locker room.
Out of halftime, Boise State had an opportunity almost immediately. Kelly Jameson sent a cross all the way through the box from the right wing, searching for the foot of fellow freshman Dani Brown at the far post. Brown slid for the ball, just getting a foot to it at the six-yard box but the shot went wide.
Air Force goalkeeper Alex Kahalley made five saves in the second half, including two where she was the only person between the net and Boise State's attacker. Kelsey Nicassio had the first such look in the 56th minute. Shannon Schueren slipped the ball from the middle of the field to the left corner of the box where Nicassio ran onto it all alone. The junior midfielder took a touch and fired for the far post. Kahalley dove and controlled the ball to keep the match tied.
Six minutes later it was Air Force adding to the scoreboard. Boise State's defense had stopped a Falcon opportunity with the ball ending up in the arms of Flores. Her dropkick, however, found the head of Air Force's Angela Karamanos and ricocheted across the field and back toward the Bronco goal. Brooke Rittmann beat the Broncos to the ball and finished her breakaway on the left wing by scoring from 20 yards out to the right post, under the arms of Flores.
In the 85th minute, KT Clayton raced past the Air Force defense and gathered a pass with just the goalie in front of her. Kahalley raced out to challenge as Clayton tried a shot from the top of the box, where she was met by the keeper who turned it away to keep the shutout intact.
The Broncos have now dropped their last six conference openers, including all four as members of the Mountain West.
Boise State returns to the field Sunday, against Colorado College. The Tigers are in their first season as an affiliate member of the Mountain West for women's soccer. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MT, and the match can be watched live on the Mountain West Network.