After sitting out eight months with concussion complications, Kristina Serres says she spent last season with the Boise State women’s soccer team just trying to catch up.
On Sunday afternoon at the Boas Soccer Complex, the junior forward was feeling like herself again.
Serres assisted on both of the Broncos’ goals in a 2-1, season-opening victory against Idaho.
“We had a little bit of a game plan for her today. The tactics worked in her favor, and she needed to execute that,” Boise State coach Jim Thomas said. “... Kris has been someone that’s been marred by offseason injury, and she’s really a get-back story. She’s fought a lot of things off the field, so to see her out in the park today, to see her effective today and really contributing to our team means a little bit more than the two assists.”
Serres won one-on-one opportunities down the sideline to set up both of Boise State’s goals. She floated a cross from the right side in front of the goal each time to assist junior midfielder McKenna Kynett’s goal in the sixth minute and junior forward Raimee Sherle’s in the 52nd.
It’s a scenario the Broncos have practiced regularly.
“Some of those crosses that came off, that’s something we directly work on in practice,” Serres said. “That’s something that we reiterate time and time again, so to see it actually work out and to give us goals and give us a win, that’s awesome.”
Idaho tied Boise State 1-1 in last year’s match with a goal in the final seconds, and the Vandals kept the Broncos on their toes once again.
Freshman midfielder Savannah Foster scored her first career goal for the Vandals (0-2-0) off a corner kick from junior Morgan Crosby in the 67th minute to make it 2-1.
Idaho senior defender Kayleigh Frederick’s attempt at the equalizer from about 25 yards out in the final minute was just inches too high over the crossbar.
“We’re not 90 minutes fit yet. We don’t really have the rotation figured out yet,” Thomas said. “We have to play games in order to see that. Certainly playing against a motivated team that’s played a couple more games than we have, you could tell the difference in maybe match fitness versus actual training fitness. I think coming out of that situation with a 2-1 win is a great place for us to start.”
The Broncos (1-0-0) tied the program record for wins with 13 last season, and they hope to take an even bigger leap in 2018.
“We want the ring. We want the ring bad. This is our season,” Serres said. “Ever since we lost to San Diego State in the semifinals last year in the Mountain West Tournament, we came together and we were like, ‘Listen, remember this feeling, because we don’t want to feel this again.’”
The Broncos are still awaiting the return of starters Eva Herrera and Aubree Chatterton from injuries, and Thomas anticipates both will be back in the next few weeks. Herrera started on the Broncos’ back line, while Chatterton contributed four goals at forward.
Boise State plays its next three nonconference games on the road, starting with UC Santa Barbara on Friday, then Cal Poly on Aug. 26 and Eastern Washington on Aug. 31. The Broncos return home to host Southern Utah on Sept. 2.
“It was important for us to come out and get this win so we can build up our momentum,” Kynett said. “This year we’re trying to have the best year we’ve ever had.”