COMMERCE CITY — While the Broomfield soccer team was securing its place in the Colorado record books, Eagles forward Cody Ewing was able to find a little bit of redemption on the pitch at Dick's Sporting Goods Park Saturday afternoon.
Three minutes into the first sudden-victory overtime period of the Class 5A state championship game, Ewing took a great pass from Luke Cangilla, got a little bit of separation from a Mountain Vista defender and popped the ball over a charging Golden Eagles keeper Christopher Reicher and into the back of the net to give Broomfield a 2-1 victory and its second consecutive big-school state title.
It was a satisfying ending to an up-and-down season for Ewing, a senior who started the season on suspension, and then struggled at times during the year, according to Eagles coach Jim Davidson.
Even in the championship game, Davidson felt like Ewing was looking a little fatigued and substituted sophomore Sawyer Giles in for him in the second half.
But when the game reached overtime, Davidson had a feeling about Ewing and put him back on the field.
"I think he felt like all season long he had something he had to do to make up for (the suspension)," said Davidson, who led the Eagles boys to the state title for the sixth time in his coaching career. "We decided at the beginning of the overtime to bring him back on because we thought he deserved a chance, and of course he tucks it away."
Ewing almost ended the overtime less than a minute into the extra period, making a great run straight through the heart of the Mountain Vista defense before Reicher was able to corral the ball.
Less than two minutes later, Ewing was involved in another run, this time with Cangilla streaking up the center of the field. Cangilla pushed the ball forward to his left to Ewing, and the rest is history.
"I remember getting the ball and thinking, 'This is my chance, this is my moment,'" said Ewing, who finished with eight goals on the season. "Next thing I saw it was in the goal and everything was a blur."
Broomfield (18-2), which entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed, was fortunate it didn't become the fourth consecutive higher seed to fall to No. 28 Mountain Visa. The Golden Eagles (12-7-1) weathered early pressure from the Eagles to slowly start to get the better of play midway through the match.
They then put Broomfield down for the first time in the tournament in the 45th minute, getting a goal from Nolan Gao off a great pass from Davis Auth to break a scoreless tie.
But the Eagles were able to get an equalizer just seven minutes later when senior defender Justin Hamm headed home a flip throw-in from Porter Milner.
"We didn't come out as hot as we probably should have and we didn't finish some opportunities," Hamm said. "But we kept working and that's what kept us in the game."
Once it got into overtime, Hamm said several members of the team talked about coming up with a senior moment. Ewing was determined to send his team out on a winning note and prove that Davidson was right to put him back on the pitch.
"Obviously it means he had some trust in me," Ewing said. "I just have to give love to Jim."
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Broomfield 2, Mountain Vista 1 (OT)
At Dick's Sporting Goods ParkMountain Vista (12-7-1) 0 1 0 — 1
Broomfield (18-2) 0 1 1 — 2
Goals (assists) —Mountain Vista: Nolan Gao (Davis Auth), 45th minute; Broomfield: Justin Hamm (Porter Milner) 52nd minute; Broomfield: Cody Ewing (Luke Cangilla) 83rd minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Mountain Vista: Christopher Reicher (83-2-3); Broomfield: Michael Genge (83-1-2).