PARKER — After back-to-back shootouts against Front Range League opponents in the Class 5A state tournament, the last thing Broomfield coach Jim Davidson wanted to see was another overtime contest Wednesday night.
But that’s exactly where the ninth-seeded Eagles found themselves, playing another league rival in Boulder with a spot in the state championship game on the line. The Eagles didn’t need much extra time though as Zane Jacobson sent the winning shot home in the 84th minute, giving Broomfield the 2-1 victory over the No. 5 Panthers at EchoPark Stadium.
“I think that would have been really hard to go a second overtime and then (penalty) kicks again,” Davidson said. “I was glad the guys got it done in regulation.”
Broomfield (16-2-1) will play No. 6 Regis Jesuit in the 5A title game at 6 p.m. on Friday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. It’s the Eagles’ fifth trip to the title game in six years.
Two of those title-game appearances came against Boulder.
“Whoever wins this match is going to be an awesome team,” Davidson said before the second semifinal. “We’re going to have to be well prepared and try to recover quickly.”
The Eagles lost to Boulder back on Sept. 24, one of only two losses during the regular season. After some struggles finding the back of the net the previous two games – Broomfield scored only one goal in 220 combined minutes of play against Fairview and Legacy the previous two games – the team broke through in the first half with a nice goal from Gustavo Gutierrez with a little more than 13 minutes remaining.
Boulder (15-4) responded with the tying score 10 minutes later. Sam Phillips took a pass that just eluded a sliding Eagles defender and ripped it to the right of Broomfield goalkeeper Jack Stoecker.
That held up until Jacobson found himself with the ball in front of a scrum of players early in overtime. The junior sent a ball directly on net that Panthers keeper Toby Bateman couldn’t come up with cleanly.
“It’s exciting. The whole season my team has just told me to shoot, shoot, shoot, and see what happens,” Jacobson said. “I took a chance and it went in.”
Davidson said he wasn’t sure how the ball got through.
“I don’t know if the keeper didn’t pick it up or what,” Davidson said. “That’s why you take your chances, because you just never know.”
Stoecker made a number of big stops on the other end, including two chances in front of the net shortly before Gutierrez scored for the Eagles.
“Those forwards for Boulder are really, really talented,” Davidson said. “They’ve got a lot of pace and they can take guys on. Jack had to really keep his ground, he had to command his box and I thought he was excellent in the six-yard box tonight especially.”
It was a fitting end to what had almost been a mini-FRL tournament on one side of the bracket. The second round and quarterfinals in Quadrant 1 were comprised of all Front Range League squads, with Broomfield knocking off Fairview and Legacy. Boulder had to defeat Rocky Mountain to reach the semifinals in Quadrant 2.
“It’s been hard, but that’s what we like,” Jacobson said. “We don’t like easy games. We like to play our rivals, and we like to give our fans a good game. It’s been a good run.”
Now the Eagles have the opportunity to add to their state-leading seven boys soccer championships Friday night.
“I just wanted to go win the game for them,” Jacobson said. “We were missing (leading scorer) Mawolo (Easton), and I was thinking about him too and wanted to send him into his last game for his senior year. I didn’t want this to be his last game where he couldn’t play.”
(6) Regis Jesuit 1, (18) Pine Creek 0
After chance after chance was either turned away or just off the mark, Regis Jesuit finally broke through late Wednesday night.
Casey McCloskey scored in the 65th minute to break a scoreless tie, and the sixth-seeded Raiders made the goal stand up for a 1-0 victory over Pine Creek in the 5A state semifinals.
Regis Jesuit (16-1-2) advanced to its first state championship game since 2008, where the Raiders will face No. 9 Broomfield on Friday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
McCloskey finally found a way past Pine Creek keeper Eli Young with 15 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in regulation. Young, who came up with some huge saves, had just deflected a ball with a diving stop to his right, but the rebound went to McCloskey. With the net open, the senior forward simply had to put the ball on target.
Young finished with eight saves.
Pine Creek (12-6-1) had made quite a run as the No. 18 seed, upending No. 2 Cherry Creek in the second round and No. 7 Grandview in the quarterfinals. The Eagles had a couple of opportunities in the second half, but it was the play of their defense that was most impressive.
Regis Jesuit last won a state title in 1996. The team’s only loss in 2019 came to a squad from Kansas City, Mo.