COMMERCE CITY — Before scoring the game-winning goal in the Class 5A boys soccer state finals against Mountain Vista, Broomfield senior forward Cody Ewing was actually on the bench towards the end of regulation.
“We pulled him late in the game, because he looked like he was struggling a little bit,” legendary Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said. “Then I turned to my staff, as we were approaching the overtime, and I asked, ‘Think we should bring Cody on and give him that senior opportunity?’ I’m glad we made that decision.”
Ewing subbed back in and, just over two minutes into overtime, got a pass he could work with. On an aggressive run out, the fourth-year striker got a little separation from the Golden Eagle defense with his speed and tucked a shot past Mountain Vista goalie Christopher Reicher.
“I was just like, ‘Alright this is my moment.’ I hooked it with the outside of my right foot. I fell over and didn’t even see it go in,” Ewing said.
As soon as the play was over, he sprinted to the nearby Broomfield (18-2) student section to celebrate a 2-1 overtime victory over Mountain Vista (12-7-1) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. With the win, Davidson's team secured back-to-back state championships for the first time in his storied career.
Nothing came easy Saturday night though as seeds were thrown out. Nevermind the fact that Broomfield was the No. 2 seed, one of the heavy favorites to win it all, and Mountain Vista had just snuck into the 32-team state tournament as the No. 28 seed after an 8-6-1 regular season record.
A Cinderella team in 2015, coach Theresa Echtermeyer had won three titles on the girls side, leading Mountain Vista to the 5A state title in 2005, 2011, and 2013. The closest they had come on the boys side was runner-up to Cherry Creek in 2010, a 1-0 double overtime loss.
Despite the odds against Mountain Vista this year, the Golden Eagles, after a scoreless first half, jumped on Broomfield first when Nolan Gao buried a shot off a wonderful cross from Davis Auth. The goal in the 45th minute gave the underdogs a 1-0 lead.
Broomfield’s Justin Hamm, with help from Porter Milner and his amazing flip throw ability, had the answer in the 53rd minute to tie the game at one. After that, back-and-forth the teams went with neither giving an inch the rest of regulation.
Finally, in overtime, Ewing provided the dagger.
For Davidson, coaching his eighth state championship match on the boys side, 13th overall, trailing in a title game was anything but comfortable.
“I’ve never been in a championship game where we’ve played from behind and won, so I was very concerned that the season was flashing before my eyes,” he admitted.
Davidson was both relieved and joyous after this one. On top of it all, he was going against a mentor, as well, adding to the emotional element of the match, as if a thrilling overtime title-winning game wasn’t emotional enough.
“Theresa is one of my closest coaching friends,” Davidson said. “She’s a person I admire that, early in my career, I considered a mentor. She’s a terrific friend, so it’s a little bittersweet that it ends up being against Vista, because of the job she does.”
Echtermeyer, who said the belief factor was huge in the Golden Eagles’ run all the way to the finals, said the match was everything a title match should be.
“Tonight was obviously a classic battle, a great championship match between two fantastic teams,” she said. “I have such great respect for Jim Davidson and what he’s doing with his program. He’s the top of the top.”
Mountain Vista took out No. 5 Monarch 2-1, No. 12 Aurora Central 2-1, No. 4 Arapahoe 2-1, and No. 1 Fairview 1-0 during their incredible run to the finals.
As for Broomfield, the Eagles are now tied with Cherry Creek for the most boys soccer state championships in history, regardless of class. The Eagles, after winning four in 4A between 1999 and 2007, have now won twice in 5A. Their six state titles rank No. 1 with the Bruins, just ahead of Faith Christian, Smoky Hill, Liberty, and Arapahoe, who have all won five.