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The rest of the state has certainly taken notice by now.

We didn't need an RPI or any other sort of quirky system to let us know the quality of depth in the Front Range League.

For the third consecutive season, the league will have at least two representatives in the state semifinals and for the second time in that stretch it will be three.

Second-seeded Boulder and No. 4 Broomfield will be on opposite sides of the bracket on Wednesday at Legacy Stadium starting at 5 p.m. with the Eagles taking on top-seeded Denver East in the opener and Boulder battling league foe Fossil Ridge, the tournament's Cinderella 30th seed in the nightcap.

For Broomfield, the two-time defending Class 5A champs, it was going to take some time for it all to come together. After heavy graduation losses, many around the state didn't necessarily write off the Eagles, but assumed they would take a step back.

"If you had told me we would be in the final four (at the beginning of the season considering what we lost), I would have said that was a little bit pie in the sky," said Broomfield coach Jim Davidson, who is set to coach the East squad in next months 6th Annual All-American game in North Carolina.

"But our guys have this great belief and a great camaraderie among them and we are really thrilled to have the opportunity. Our guys have grown up and matured and the leadership has been absolutely fantastic."


The Eagles survived a first round scare from Gateway, scoring the game-winner with just 26 seconds left to eliminate the Olympians. It set up back-to-back Front Range League rematches with Legacy and Fairview in a quadrant of the bracket that was all FRL.

Against Denver East (18-0), the Eagles will have to contend with a trio of talented goal scorers in Max Gottesfeld (20 goals), Sam Carson (18) and Eli Miller (12).

"I watched them play earlier in the season against Rangeview and they are very good. They play a similar style of soccer to us," said Davidson, who will match wits with Angels coach Kirk Bast. "They are a technical team and they have some big boys across their back line and they've got Kirk."

Boulder (18-0) has breezed through the first three game of the playoffs, out-scoring opponents 15-1 and continuing to simply wear teams down with their incredible depth.

The Panthers draw a Fossil Ridge (8-9) club that dropped to 4-8 when Boulder beat them 4-1 last month at Recht Field. Trey Pace scored two times in that game and he is just one of the multitude of Boulder players that have the ability to score from anywhere in the finishing third of the field.

Fossil Ridge seems to be hitting its stride at the right time and the Sabercats have the ability to possess the ball and in their previous match with the Panthers forced goalie Djibril Doumbia to make eight saves.

The 3A state semifinals will be at Denver's All-City Stadium and Jefferson Academy will be there for the first time.

The sixth-seeded Jaguars will play No. 2 KIPP Collegiate at 7 p.m. for a spot in Saturday's championship game at Dick's Sporting Good Park. Lucas Almeida has done just about everything his coach Matt Cassell has asked of him and he scored twice on Saturday in their 2-0 victory over Colorado Academy.

Jon Yunt: or


At Legacy Stadium (Cherokee Trail H.S.)

(4) Broomfield (15-2-1) vs. (1) Denver East (18-0), 5 p.m.

Broomfield is a perfect 2-for-2 since joining Class 5A in 2014 and is search of its third consecutive state title. ... The Eagles have outscored playoff opponents by a cumulative 9-1, with senior striker Armando Ocampo accounting for five goals and an assist during that stretch. ... Goalie Jose Ogaz has been sneaky good, making a number of saves against Legacy and Fairview in the last two matches. ... The Angels, under the direction longtime Colorado prep fixture Kirk Bast, have taken out two Front Range League teams — Monarch and Fort Collins — in their run to the semifinals.

(30) Fossil Ridge (8-9) vs. (2) Boulder (18-0), 7 p.m.

The all Front Range League semifinal is a rematch of Boulder's 4-1 regular season win on Oct. 10 at Recht Field. ... A majority of the focus will of course be centered on the Panthers offensive prowess, but they have only surrendered 11 goals all season, and three of those were to national power Salesianum of Delaware. ... In the first match with the Sabercats, sophomore goalie Djibril Doumbia was forced to make eight saves. ... Fossil Ridge, which made the tournament with a 5-9 record, has hits its stride at the right time with a remarkable run that has taken out Cherry Creek, Abraham Lincoln and Arapahoe with goals in the first 10 minutes of the match.


At All-City Stadium (Denver)

(6) Jefferson Academy (15-3) vs. (2) KIPP Denver Collegiate (15-2-1), 7 p.m.

The Jaguars seem to have things clicking at the right time and got some revenge on Colorado Academy in their first trip to the quarterfinals. ... JA has 10 victories by shutout this season and two in the playoffs. ... Goalie Eric Strauss was visibly upset after giving up a late goal to William Smith in the first round and has been sensational since, in victories over Basalt and CA. ... The Jags backline will be tested against a Tigers team that has not been shutout all season and has suffered its only setbacks to 4A and 5A teams.