LAS VEGAS – Raimee Sherle
simply wasn't going to be denied Sunday afternoon.
The junior was pure class in earning her fourth-career hat trick to secure the Boise State record for career goals (37), lifting the Broncos (8-2, 2-0) to the 3-0 shutout win over UNLV (7-3-1, 1-1).
It wasn't the garden-variety hat trick for Sherle, however, as she tallied all three goals within three minutes and 11 seconds of one another – good for the fastest hat trick in Boise State history. She scored in the 47th, 49th and 51st minutes to quickly put the game out of reach for the Rebels.
"It's unreal," Sherle said after the game. "I blacked out for some of the goals. I didn't know what was happening. It all happened so fast, but when I found my opportunities, I took them."
The time it took Sherle (3:11) to score the three goals also puts her within earshot of the NCAA record for the fastest hat trick by the same player, held by Abby Wambach. Wambach scored three goals within 2:02 of another in 2000 playing for Florida.
"It's never been done before – what superlative can you choose? You would be correct with all of them," head coach Jim Thomas
remarked on Sherle's 37 career goals. "It's never been done before, and she's done it a year and a half sooner than the next person. It's hard to wrap your head around."
Along with earning the program record for career goals, Sherle also claimed the top spot in career multi-goal games (8) and career hat tricks (4) in the Bronco record book.
More impressively, however, is where Sherle stacks up in the Mountain West record book. Having played just 53 games in her Bronco career, Sherle is not only the fastest player to 37 goals in MW history, but she also is tied for second on the all-time goals list. She only trails Utah's Amy Kofoed (1999-2001; 41 goals) for the top spot.
"My team is so great and so supportive, and they were so happy for me," Sherle said. "I don't feel like I should have all of the attention. It's my team, it's not just me. I have amazing teammates who make me look so good."
On a macro level, the team's 8-2 record continues to mark the best start to a season in program history. The result today also gives the Broncos just its second-ever road win over UNLV.
The barrage of Sherle goals early in the second occurred in part thanks to a tactical decision from Thomas and the Bronco coaching staff. After playing a first half that was designed to conserve Sherle's energy, Boise State unleashed the forward on the UNLV back line right out of the gates in the second half.
The Meridian, Idaho native scored first thanks to an outstanding hustle play from Emily Curry
, who initially forced a Rebel turnover and made a sliding play to advance the ball to Sherle. The junior calmly navigated her way into the box and used her left foot to beat the keeper to give the visitors the early 1-0 lead in the 47th minute.
Less than two minutes later, Sherle received another great ball from Kristina Serres
and quickly deposited the ball into the back of the net to double the lead against a shocked UNLV side.
She then delivered the knockout punch when the Rebel keeper mishandled the ball at the top of the box in the 51st, leaving a window for the 5-foot, 2-inch Sherle to use a burst of speed to pick up the steal and score her third goal of the day on a wide-open net.
UNLV naturally pressed and held possession for the majority of the final 40 minutes of the game, but the Bronco defense kept its cool and turned away every rebel opportunity.
picked up her fifth shutout of the season (now tied for third in single-season school history) and Boise State stretched its winning streak to four games in the process.
Boise State will return home this coming weekend to face Colorado State (Friday, Sept. 28) and Wyoming (Sunday, Sept. 30) back at the Boas Soccer Complex. Friday's game will kick off at 4 p.m. while Sunday will begin at 1 p.m.