COMMERCE CITY – It was almost one year ago to the day that Jose Ogaz and his Broomfield teammates walked off the field at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park experiencing heartache.
The Eagles were engaged in a shootout with Boulder in the Class 5A state championship game last November. Ogaz appeared to have made the game-winning save, but an official ruled he left the line too soon. The Panthers were given another opportunity and went on to capture the state title.
So with one last chance to go out on top Saturday night, there was no way Ogaz was going to be denied. The senior made five saves behind a rock-solid backline, and Michael Mooney’s first-half goal stood up as Broomfield captured a state-record seventh championship in boys soccer with a 1-0 victory at DSGP.
“I was heart-broken last year, so I came back and trained a little harder this summer,” Ogaz said. “I wasn’t going to let this one get past us this year.”
Broomfield (17-2-1), the No. 7 seed, capped a postseason run in which it outscored its five opponents 15-2. The Eagles claimed their third championship in four years and moved past Cherry Creek in the state books with its seventh overall soccer title.
“I think that it’s really something special that we’ve created,” said Broomfield coach Jim Davidson, who emphasized that his assistant coaches deserved their share of the credit. “The tradition, the guys really understand that and they respect that. They all wanted to have their imprint on it and leave their legacy.”
Denver East (18-2) was the top seed for the second year in a row only to see its run ended by Broomfield. The Angels put the pressure on Broomfield’s defense in the second half thanks to some impressive speed up top, but couldn’t find a way to land the equalizer.
“Our backline, we didn’t give them too much pressure,” Ogaz said. “We gave them a little space so if we did get beat, we’d have cover and I’d be back there.”
Mooney gave Broomfield all the cushion it would need in the 35th minute. East keeper Victor Yague-Izquierdo, who finished with seven saves, challenged Mooney but ended up on the ground. With an open net, Mooney recovered in enough time to fire a ball on target.
“Michael decided to take him on, on the dribble. I thought it was a good move because he seemed to have him kind of stood up a little bit,” Davidson said. “I just saw him get to the right and create a little bit of space.
“There were two defenders out there trying to clear the ball off the line and get to it, but Michael’s finish was top-drawer.”
Mooney was just breathing a sigh of relief after the game that he didn’t miss.
“I couldn’t be happier to see it go in the back of the net,” Mooney said. “I just didn’t want to miss the open net, to be honest.”
Broomfield may have had the most chances in the first half, but Denver East turned the tables over the final 40 minutes. The Angels put four shots on goal, but the Eagles’ defense turned away a number of other opportunities before the ball got to Ogaz.
The Angels had a free kick just outside the box with 19 minutes, 14 seconds remaining, but the shot went just over the crossbar.
“I love those guys. They do such a good job and I have so much trust in them,” Ogaz said. “If they get beat I have their back, they have mine, and it’s an awesome system we have going on.”
Davidson said he may have been happiest for Ogaz, who he said developed into a “stellar” captain this fall. Davidson added that he leaves a legacy as one of the top keepers ever in the program.
But it wasn’t just Ogaz who finished out his career with a title and walked off the field at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park wearing a big smile. Broomfield had 13 seniors on the squad who got to a little taste of redemption.
“We definitely wanted some revenge for last year,” Mooney said. “We wanted to get that nasty taste out of our mouths. It’s a great feeling to come back out here and win.”