PARKER — Converting on scoring chances wasn’t working for either Arapahoe or Broomfield in the first Class 5A semifinal match at EchoPark Stadium on Wednesday.
After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer the eighth seeded Warriors and the defending state champion Eagles took to penalty kicks to determine who would advance to the 5A title game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Friday.
It took six rounds of kicks for Arapahoe to come away with the 4-3 edge. With the loss, No. 13 Broomfield will miss its first state championship match since 2013.
The Warriors (16-1-2 overall) were on the attack from the very first whistle, getting the majority of the chances through the first 40 minutes of the game. The best chance came in the ninth minute when a shot ripped past Broomfield keeper Kaden Carson who was out of position off a rebound.
But his defenders had his back as a kick save kept the match scoreless. Shortly after, Cameron Gail played the ball right in front of the net, but this time Carson was perfectly placed in the box and corralled the shot.
The script flipped somewhat in the second half as the Eagles (12-7) began to find chances of their own. A hard shot from Mawolo Easton was stopped by Arapahoe keeper Spencer Cobb, who looked to be willing to match Carson’s level of play.
A free kick for the Warriors gave them one last late chance to break the scoreless tie. Travis Sawyer played the ball into Gail, but the shot went right into Carson’s arms. The Warriors continued to attack in overtime and Gail had yet another chance to end the game. He broke down the field as the ball was played in, but his shot went just wide.
The teams lined up for penalty kicks and each side scored on their first three chances. Carson got the save on Sawyer’s chance giving the Eagles a chance to take the advantage. But Nathan Dishongh’s was off the mark. Each side missed their next shot and then Liam Anderson buried one to put Arapahoe back up front.
Cade Austin stepped up for Broomfield and took aim at the right side of the net, but his shot slammed off Cobb's outstretched hand, sending the Warriors to the ninth title game in program history. Arapahoe has won five state titles, the last coming in 1997.
(3) Grandview 2, (2) Boulder 0
After a scoreless first half, Grandview wasted no time in taking the lead over Boulder. The Wolves came away with a 2-0 win to advance to the school's third boys soccer championship game.
Ransom Hall found the net in the 50th minute and Jaime Luna padded the lead two minutes later by getting a header just over the reach of Boulder keeper Toby Batemen.
Rather than pack the backfield and make Boulder press, Grandview (16-1-1) stayed aggressive on the offensive side of the ball. A corner kick with just over 16 minutes left in the second half nearly pushed the lead to three goals, but the header went just over the Boulder net.
The Panthers (17-2) averaged over three goals per game in 2018, but were unable to find the net.
The Wolves now get a shot of redemption against Arapahoe. The two teams played back on Sept. 25 with the Warriors getting the 3-2 win.