Monday Nov 10 2008
Deshane Helps Bulldogs Garner NCAA Berth
By: Mike Ray Gold Country News Services
Colfax High grad plays all 104 minutes in 2OT WAC title win
A month and a half ago probably the farthest thing that Bradlee Deshane and her Fresno State women’s soccer teammates were dreaming of was a trip to the NCAA Tournament. But after a frustrating but rewarding preseason, the Bulldogs more than persevered and after capturing last weekend’s Western Athletic Conference tournament title in Reno, will represent the WAC in the NCAA championship tournament which begins this weekend at home sites across the country. Fresno State defeated No. 1 seeded Utah State 2-1 in a double overtime match that was played in frigid 40-degree temperatures on Sunday in Mackay Stadium. “We struggled a bit during the preseason but at the same time I could see that we were coming together as a team,” said Deshane a 2007 Colfax High graduate Monday about Fresno State overcoming its 3-7 start to reach the NCAA tourney for the first time since 2005. “We had a lot of young players who didn’t have a whole lot of college experience but then we started to click,” Deshane added. “I’m still pinching myself. It’s exciting.” Deshane, a high scoring forward for Colfax in her prep days, has moved to defender at Fresno and started every match this season for the Bulldogs who caught fire in the second half of the season and went 9-1-2 over their last 12 matches. “It was strange switching to defense last year because I had played up front all my life but I enjoy it back there,” said Deshane who has an attacking defender picked up an assist in Fresno’s 2-0 tourney semi-final round win over Nevada on Friday. A big ingredient in Fresno’s late season success was the defense that the Bulldogs threw at opponents. In their last 10 matches, the Bulldogs, who Placer High grad Krissy Looney is also a member of, posted nine shutouts and allowed just two goals, one to Utah State in a 1-0 loss in Logan, Utah on Oct. 19 and the other in Sunday’s title match. “Our defense is one of the strong points of the team,” said Deshane who played all 104 minutes in Sunday’s two overtime win. Asked on any preference on where the Bulldogs land in the tournament pairings she answered, “It really doesn’t matter…wherever it is has to be warmer than Reno.” Deshane now joins former classmate Devin Ginty has the second Class of 2007 graduate from Colfax High who will compete in a NCAA Div. I tournament. Ginty played in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this past season for the University of San Diego.