Sept. 30, 2016
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The only thing striking more often than lightning Friday, was Boise State freshman Raimee Sherle. Three second-half goals from Sherle gave her the sixth hat trick in program history and lifted the Broncos to a 3-0 win at Colorado College.
Sherle put Boise State (4-7-1, 3-0-0 MW) on top just 39 seconds into the second half and added goals in the 62nd and 66th minutes. It is the Bronco first hat trick since Shannon Saxton scored three times Oct. 1, 2010, at Hawai'i. Saxton was also the last freshman to record a hat trick, scoring four times Sept. 9, 2007, against Southern Utah.
"The game was so open in the second half and that's not a good recipe for trying to stop Raimee Sherle," said head coach Jim Thomas. "Colorado College suffocated her in the first half by really tightening up the midfield and she didn't get many looks. As game wore on, they were not able to keep it compact in the midfield and she made some beautiful runs."
Boise State is off to a 3-0 start in Mountain West play for the first time since joining the conference and is 3-0 to start conference play in any league for just the second time in program history. The 2007 Broncos began WAC play 3-0. That team went on to tie its fourth league match, but was unbeaten in the first five at 4-0-1 before finishing conference play 5-1-1.
"We didn't look like young guns out there today," Thomas said. "We're starting to see some maturity from a team who hasn't had that for a while. To see Allegra Weeks, Jess Vogel, Kayla Tucker and Addy Standlee be so stout in front of Janelle was unbelievable in a game that open and free flowing. With a 3-0 lead we were able to get some of our starters important rest and the freshmen we called upon to play those minutes played really well. They played like they didn't want to come off and that was really good to see. That's the mindset they need to have."
Sherle's three goals came in a span of 20:14, the third-fastest three-goal stretch in program history. It is also the second time in school history a Bronco scored three times in one half. Saxton also did so in the Sept. 9, 2007, match against Southern Utah.
The first goal was put away following a scrum in the box. The ball was loose just three yards away from the goal line and Baylee Blaser punched it back toward Sherle streaking in from the top of the box. The freshman one-timed it to the back of the net.
Less than five minutes later, lightning hit the area and started a 60-minute delay. When play resumed, the home team struck first. Two shots and two corner kicks in the next six minutes had the Broncos on their heels momentarily.
"The game was slow to start with, because they were trying to make it slow," Thomas said. "It didn't have the tempo we were looking for. The second half started a little out of control. We get the scrappy goal and then we go to lightning. Typical Mountain West play. There's always madness."
Boise State managed to flip the field and put the ball in its attacking end, but Colorado College retained possession and began to build out of the back. Sherle bolted in front of a pass and was off the other way. She dribbled inside the box and let rip a 12-yard shot from the left side that scooted in to the far post.
Less than five minutes later it was Laura Buck intercepting a pass in the midfield and finding Sherle just yards ahead. Sherle danced through the Tigers back line and again found the left side of the box, this time let fire from 16 yards and stuck the shot inside the far post.
Through three Mountain West matches, Sherle has 10 points on five goals and has notched the game-winner in all three matches. Last season, only four MW players scored more than five goals in conference play and 10 points ranked in the top 10 during conference play.
Janelle Flores played between the posts for Boise State and kept the Tigers off the scoreboard. It was the second shutout of the year for Boise State and Flores, who now has 11 clean sheets in her career. Flores made five saves, three of which came after the Broncos already had a 3-0 lead.
Boise State outshot the Tigers 7-0 in the first half, but the teams went to the locker room without either breaking through on the scoreboard. The offense stepped up immediately out of the intermission. Colorado College took its first shot less than 10 seconds into the second half and forced Flores to make her first save. Less than 30 seconds after that, Sherle netted her first goal.
Boise State continues the road trip Sunday, at Air Force. The Broncos and Falcons kick off at noon MT.