Sill to Salvador Nets First Round Victory for 'Dogs
Nov. 8, 2007
BOISE, Idaho - Senior forward Andrea Salvador scored from 17 yards out, beating the goal keeper to the left in the 88th minute and delivering a 1-0 Fresno State victory against Nevada in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference Championships on Thursday in Boise, Idaho.
Salvador's game-winner couldn't have been set up better. Junior midfielder Alison Sill stole the ball and had two options, Salvador on her left and junior forward Nicole Gutierrez on the right. Sill precisely placed the ball over the top of a Nevada defender and Salvador made one move before finding the back of the net.
"I was going to pass the ball down the line to Nicole, but I heard Andrea calling for it and I made a good pass," Sill said. "It was really exciting to beat them, especially after losing to them in the final last season."
It was Sill's ninth assist of the season, setting a new Fresno State single-season record for assists. She passes former standouts Jill Pearson who had eight assists in 2000 and Reyna Green who recorded eight assists in 1999.
"Ali is our workhorse," said head coach Steve Springthorpe. "She plays almost every minute for us, buzzes around and wins balls. When she gets the ball at her feet, she can be very creative. Today she served it right over the top and Andrea took a good touch and finished it."
It was Fresno State's fourth-straight win, which includes back-to-back wins over Nevada after the `Dogs downed the Wolf Pack 3-1 in the regular season finale.
"Give credit to Nevada, they came out hard and put a lot of pressure on us," Springthorpe said. "It was a tough, hard-fought game and Nevada was a great opponent."
At halftime, the game was tied at zero. The Bulldogs had made five shots, three on goal, and freshman goal keeper Kaity Revel made two saves.
The pace of the match picked up in the second half. Nevada threatened many times and Revel made some outstanding saves to preserve the shut out. Senior midfielder Megan Tennant hit the crossbar in the 78th minute that nearly broke the tie.
Revel recorded her ninth shut out of the season while making six saves. Fresno State took 13 shots to Nevada's 12.
"It took us a little while to settle down, but then we found a rhythm," Springthorpe said. "In the second half I thought we did a better job of being dangerous and we played a little harder defensively."
Fresno State now faces second-seeded Boise State on Friday at 3 p.m. (2 p.m. PT) in the semifinals. The Bulldogs and Broncos battled to a 1-1 tie on Oct. 26 in Boise.