Sept. 11, 2015
BOISE, Idaho - Hailey DeVries spent the first 89 minutes in a familiar place: serving as Boise State's star center back running down every long ball Utah played and tracking the Utes' most dangerous forwards. Then DeVries was called on to do something she had never done in game action. With 22 seconds to go and the Broncos trailing 1-0, the junior stood over a penalty kick.
"I knew it was going to go in," said DeVries who smashed a low shot inside the left post for the first goal of her career.
DeVries sent the match to overtime where Boise State (1-3-2) came away with a 1-1 draw against Utah (3-2-2) Friday, at Boas Soccer Complex. The penalty was given after Michelle Reed was taken down in the middle of the box as she whipped around to try and fire a desperation strike. Despite the fact DeVries had just one shot on goal in her first 48 matches, there was never a doubt about which Bronco would take the attempt.
"Hailey practices her penalty kicks every day," said 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."
A fierce competitor and natural leader, DeVries explained her penchant for the high-stakes moment.
"I love the thrill behind it and the excitement that comes with your entire team counting on you to step up," DeVries explained. "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."
Boise State held an advantage in nearly every aspect of the match. The Broncos outshot the Utes 22-11 and, outside of the opening 10 minutes, controlled play for the majority of the match. Even when down a goal, the Broncos kept the pressure on and sought every attacking opportunity.
"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 got on the board first with a goal in the 37th minute just as the Broncos were ready to break through. Boise State had taken the last seven shots and the Utes had not threatened the goal for 24 minutes.
A tricky pass from the top of the box left Mikayla Elmer all alone on the right side of the goal about 10 yards out. Flores was in position to force Elmer's shot to the far post, but it struck the bar and ricocheted right back to Elmer's feet. This time from six yards out she poked it to the near post right between the diving limbs of Flores and Allegra Weeks.
Laura Buck provided a spark off the bench for the Broncos, especially late. Buck took three shots in the match, putting them all on target. Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke turned all three away in spectacular fashion, including a stunning save in the 99th minute.
Brooke Heidemann charged hard down the right flank and scorched a centering pass to the middle of the box. Buck came in from the left side of the penalty area, allowed the ball to take a high hop and headed it back toward the right post. Luke changed directions as she left her feet and snagged the shot out of the air with less than a minute to play in the first extra period.
Both teams had chances in the second overtime, but Flores made two saves and Heidemann's look sailed high.
The Broncos will look to expand on a three-match unbeaten streak Sunday, when they host Weber State at 1 p.m. at Boas Soccer Complex.