Boise State

‘Superhero’ from Meridian leads Boise State into Mountain West semifinals

Boise State sophomore Raimee Sherle’s overall season totals for goals (16) and points (38) lead the Mountain West and rank No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the NCAA.
Boise State sophomore Raimee Sherle’s overall season totals for goals (16) and points (38) lead the Mountain West and rank No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the NCAA. jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com

UPDATE: Raimee Sherle scored both goals as Boise State beat Air Force 2-0 on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West women’s soccer tournament. Her total of 18 goals is a Boise State single-season record and ties the conference record. The Broncos are unbeaten in their past eight games, also a school record.

Boise State plays San Diego State on Thursday.

Our feature on Sherle from earlier this week is below:

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Raimee Sherle was a prolific scorer throughout her four-year varsity soccer career at Rocky Mountain High, scoring 100 goals and assisting on 62 others.

There has been no drop-off in the 5-foot-2 striker’s scoring ability at the collegiate level, where she leads the Mountain West and is tied for second in the nation with 16 goals for Boise State this fall. Eight of her goals are game-winners, which ranks No. 1 in the country.

On Monday, Sherle was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year after setting league records for single-season points (28), goals (12) and shots (59) in 11 conference games.

“It’s masks and capes and superhero stuff, but then the whistle blows to end the game and she goes back to being normal Raimee,” Boise State coach Jim Thomas said. “She’s a super fun-loving kid, great to be around, intelligent girl, so I think that’s enabled her to have some balance where she can compartmentalize her life and deal with the rigors of life in general, and then be able to put that aside for a couple of hours and go about being the superhero she is for us.”

Behind Sherle’s breakout sophomore season, the Broncos have set school records for regular-season (12) and conference wins (7), earning the No. 3 seed at this week’s Mountain West Tournament on the campus of UNLV in Las Vegas.

Boise State (12-5-3, 7-2-2) opens against No. 6 Air Force (7-8-3, 4-4-3) at 5 p.m. MT Tuesday. If the Broncos win, they’ll advance to the semifinals against No. 2 San Diego State (10-7-2, 7-2-2) on Thursday. The championship match is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday.

Throughout the season we’ve learned what works for us and what doesn’t work for us. No matter what, no matter who the opponent is, we are going to do what we do, and we’re going to love each other as much as we love winning.

Raimee Sherle, Boise State sophomore forward

The Broncos and Falcons played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime on Oct. 6 in Boise, with a potential game-winning goal from Sherle being called back in the second overtime on a controversial offside call.

“That game was kind of a microcosm of the Mountain West in general. It’s unpredictable,” Thomas said. “You don’t know which way or how the game is going to be swayed, and you’ve got to be tremendous in those moments.”

Sherle’s season has been nothing short of tremendous, but no one around her is surprised by her success. Although she has a natural gift, Sherle honed her skills in the offseason to become the player she is today.

“When she came in here, she was one kind of player — and a very, very good one — who could have rested on her laurels and still had a great collegiate career,” Thomas said. “But she’s probably worked harder than anybody else that’s with us.”

Over the years, Sherle has worked to improve her defensive skills, and she is now considered one of the best defenders in the league from the front line.

She’s also become more difficult to contain offensively after training extensively in the offseason to improve her striking ability with her weak foot. Thomas says she’s now nearly as good with her weak foot as she is with her strong one.

“It’s that sort of thing that people don’t see. They just see, ‘Wow, she’s amazing.’ It’s not all just gifted to her. She’s pragmatically gone about working to become better in a lot of different areas,” Thomas said. “I think that’s a real sign of a true successful person that they’re willing to attack those things even though they are good enough to not need to do it and make themselves better anyway.”

Last Tuesday, Sherle was named the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer National Player of the Week after notching 11 points in two games. She scored two goals in a 3-1 win over Nevada and had a hat trick and an assist in a 6-1 rout of UNLV.

“The team and the chemistry that we have and the accomplishments that we’ve had throughout this season are incredible, and it’s what makes it fun,” Sherle said. “It’s what makes you want to play college sports, is the team.”

Sherle needs one goal to tie Boise State’s single-season school record of 17 set by Shannon Saxton in 2007.

If the Broncos can make the deep postseason run they are hoping for, that record won’t stand much longer.

“I’ve been around a few players who have got the ability that Raimee’s got, and there’s one consistent throughout all of those players,” Thomas said. “When the light shines on them, they shine back brighter.”

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @byrachelroberts

More Broncos receive league honors

Boise State sophomore forward Raimee Sherle was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year on Monday and also earned a spot on the All-Mountain West First Team, but she wasn’t the only Bronco recognized.

Senior goalkeeper Janelle Flores, senior midfielder Sarah Taylor and senior defender Jessie Vogel were named to the All-MW Second Team. Freshman forward Aubree Chatterton was selected to the All-MW Newcomer Team.

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