SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Raimee Sherle
scored early on in the 23rd minute to give the Broncos some breathing room, and McKenna Kynett
provided the knockout punch in the 85th to propel Boise State (2-1-0) to the 2-0 win over Cal Poly Sunday afternoon. The result marks the first win over the Mustangs in program history while also giving the Blue and Orange its first road victory of the season.
In between the two Boise State goals, it was goalkeeper Tara Fisher
and the Bronco back line who dug their heels in and put together an exemplary performance. The senior finished with a season-high seven saves while Boise State fought through a 21-8 Cal Poly advantage in shots to ultimately earn the three points.
"It's an amazing response to a really difficult Friday night," head coach Jim Thomas
said. "To come back and pitch a shutout in an extremely physical game like today was, is unbelievable. That was not a pretty game with all of the fouls, so it was huge for us to find a way get it done in a game that was played exactly how Cal Poly wanted it to be played, and I couldn't be more proud."
The 2-0 result gives the Broncos its first shutout of the season while Fisher picked up her third-career clean sheet.
"That was unbelievable to watch," Thomas said on Fisher and the defense. "Three of those saves were game-changing saves. When you need someone to come up big, Tara always steps up. It gave us a calm that freed up our defenders to aggressively tackle and play with confidence."
While the first 15 minutes of the game didn't result in many chances for either side, it was Boise State who generated a couple breakaways that produced quality looks from both Kynett and Sherle. It was that initial momentum and spirited play from Sherle, specifically, that led to the first goal.
On an attempted clearance from the Cal Poly keeper in the 23rd minute, it was Sherle who came flying in to block the clearance with her body, sending the ball directly backwards and into the goal to make it a 1-0 lead for the Broncos.
Boise State carried the same one-goal advantage into halftime, but the Mustangs almost found the equalizer at the beginning of the second half. The 47th minute saw a Bronco miscue result in a Cal Poly shot that ricocheted off the top of the crossbar, but eventually proved to be harmless.
The majority of the second half saw Cal Poly parlay its physical play into several decent chances, but the Broncos were able to continuously negate the Mustangs' efforts in the final third and maintain the 1-0 lead.
The Blue and Orange essentially clinched the victory in the 85th minute when Kynett dribbled her way to 20 yards out and uncorked a perfect shot that caught the Cal Poly keeper off her line, resulting in what would be an insurmountable 2-0 lead.
"Raimee sets the press, sets the tone and uses it to ignite goal scoring. Today was no different with her work rate translating into yet another goal," Thomas said. "McKenna had been grinding all game against a really good Cal Poly midfield. It was really a coming of age moment for her to be that mentally strong at the point in the game and have the presence of mind to give that shot a little loft and curl, ultimately putting the game away."
The Broncos wisely played the ball to the corners in the final five minutes and came away with the hard-fought win.
Boise State will now look ahead to a "road and home" split weekend that will start with an away game at Eastern Washington (Friday, Aug. 31 – 5 p.m. MT) and end with a home matchup against Southern Utah (Sunday, Sept. 2) at 1 p.m. at the Boas Soccer Complex.