As the third-leading goal scorer in the entire NCAA last season, opposing teams know they can’t afford to lose track of Raimee Sherle.
That’s much, much easier said than done.
The Boise State junior forward scored the third-fastest goal in program history to propel the Broncos to a 3-0 victory against Southern Utah on Sunday afternoon at the Boas Soccer Complex.
Sherle found the back of the net just 33 seconds in with the assist from junior midfielder McKenna Kynett.
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“She’s more than the goals. She’s more than the speed and the skill. She’s a talisman for us,” Boise State coach Jim Thomas said. “As she goes, so do we.”
Sherle scored again in the second half to increase her career total to 30 goals. The mark ties for the second most in program history alongside Brittany Zoellner (1999-03) and is just five behind career leader Shannon Saxton’s 35 from 2007-10.
The Broncos as a whole have elevated in tandem with Sherle. With Sunday’s win, the team improves to 4-1-0, which matches the 2006 team for the best start in program history.
That’s a feat these Broncos didn’t accomplish by accident.
“I think it says a lot about what we’ve put in this summer. We got here a lot earlier than we have in the past,” Sherle said. “We’ve just been grinding. We work hard. We expect each other to work hard and hold each other to a high expectation. But we have fun while we’re doing it, too, which I think has really shown in the 4-1 (record).
“The chemistry here is great. We have such great players and such a deep lineup as well. This season is going to be different than any other.”
Twenty-one Broncos logged minutes against the Thunderbirds, and senior goalkeeper Tara Fisher and the Boise State defense posted their third straight shutout of the season. Senior defender Allegra Weeks scored the Broncos’ other goal — and the first of her career — in the 53rd minute.
Next up for the Broncos is a challenging trip into Pac-12 territory. Boise State plays at Arizona at 8 p.m. MT on Friday. The Wildcats have advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times in the last four seasons.
Although there’s a long season ahead, the Broncos have aspirations of winning a Mountain West title and an accompanying NCAA Tournament ticket.
“The games mean more to them now. They have loftier goals. They’re coming from a different place,” Thomas said. “They’re really moving towards something that’s hopefully going to leave a legacy for us.”