AURORA — All is right with the world. The Broomfield Eagles are in the Class 5A state title game.
They had their doubters, their detractors and a vast majority of the state telling them that a trip back to the state title game simply wasn't in the cards.
It fed them.
Fourth-seeded Broomfield will have a chance at a third-consecutive 5A state championship after dispatching top-seeded and unbeaten Denver East 2-1 on Wednesday at Legacy Stadium.
"It's exciting, we live for one more day," said Broomfield coach Jim Davidson, whose side will draw either No. 30 Fossil Ridge or No. 2 Boulder on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
"It's a real testament to our kids, they have worked really hard and especially in what we have done the last three seasons ... three years in 5A and three state finals."
Denver East, which came in to the match with a flawless 18-0 record, looked every bit the top-seed in the early going. The Angels were patient in the midfield and crafty with their possessions.
They scored in the 20th minute when a throw-in near the corner flag managed to work its way to the far post, where Sam Carson was able to finish past Jose Ogaz.
It wasn't the last time though that Ogaz would have to look back.
Just three minutes later, East's Max Gottesfeld rifled a shot off the bar above his head.
"This is the first time throughout the entirety of the playoffs that we came out flat in the first 40 minutes and maybe that just happens, because it's going to happen to you at some point," Davidson said. "But I couldn't be prouder of the guys for going out and grasping the game in the second half.
"We challenged them to raise their energy level, be sharper in their decision making and stop making a big field small by playing direct and they turned around their mentality."
When it happened, it happened quickly for the Eagles.
In the 52nd minutes, Michael Mooney equalized the match with a big strike from 20 yards out that beat Angels keeper Victor Izquierdo just inside his near post.
"We knew we had to come back out and fight and give it our all," said Mooney, whose sister Madison was a part of the Eagles state championship cross country team. "The ball just popped out in front of me and I saw the goal frame up with my hips and I had to hit it."
Just over a minute later the Eagles would take the lead, when Sawyer Giles would set up Jeff Robisch for the game-winner.
The rest was up to Ogaz, who made six of his 10 save in the final 40 minutes, including a pair with 4:30 to play on both Carson and Gottesfeld.
"I was confident in myself and my reactions because of the way we train everyday at practice," Ogaz said. I saw that shot coming from when he would up and just came up big and then got big again to make that second save."
BROOMFIELD 2, DENVER EAST 1
At Legacy StadiumBroomfield (16-2-1) 0 2 — 2
Denver East (18-1) 1 0 — 1
Goals (assists) — Denver East: Sam Carson (unassisted), 20th minute; Broomfield: Michael Mooney (unassisted), 52nd; Jeff Robisch (Sawyer Giles), 53rd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Broomfield: Jose Ogaz (80-1-10); Denver East: Victor Izquierdo (80-2-2).