BROOMFIELD — Mother Nature is the great equalizer in sports.
She has a knack for helping the underdogs and, rest assured, coach Jim Davidson and his Broomfield Eagles were more than aware of that on Thursday night in their Class 5A opener against Rock Canyon at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium.
Add in the fact that in recent years, the first round match-up has been a little tighter than they would like and the field conditions instantly became a little more dicey.
After a scoreless first 40 minutes — dominated by the Eagles possession-wise — Broomfield finally capitalized in the second and rolled to a 3-0 victory over he Jaguars to advance to the second round.
"The key was that we really stayed patient and we thought that Rock Canyon really executed their game plan to get it to halftime (0-0)," Davidson said. "It's a funny game, especially when the surface ist like this, but they did what they had to do and kept their patience ... but we were finally able to break them down and create some chances."
Seventh-seeded Broomfield (13-2-1) will host No. 10 Cherry Creek — a 5-0 winner over Liberty — next Wednesday evening.
Broomfield created its chances in the first half, but never found a way to beat Jags goalie Will Durbin, who made four first half saves — including a beauty on Cameron Broadhurst in the 31st minute.
That save came just two minutes after Nathan Dishongh thought his shot was in, only to have it bounce harmlessly away off Durbin's far post.
After a quick warm-up inside the school, Broomfield again came out and dictated play in the second half.
Michael Mooney, who is one of two Eagles cross country runners to qualify for the state this Saturday in Colorado Springs, finished off a Tanner Smith cross in the 48th minute to open the scoring.
"It's fun and it's good to play (in these conditions) every once and a while," said Smith, who would make a huge mark on the game in the second half. "We knew we had to work on our first touches, that was a big thing in the first half, and we had to move it side to side better and quicker which was going to open up more chances."
Those opportunities came fast and furious, and Smith capitalized on one in the 56th minute. Durbin came out to play a ball and had it go right though his legs, and with Mooney and Smith closing in, it was Smith that pounced and finished into the open net to make it 2-0.
Smith would cap the scoring with his second goal when Mooney returned the favor with a beautiful cross of his own in the 64th.
"Tanner was strong tonight and his physicality was really big for us when we needed it," Davidson said. "He won the knock down game and created a lot of second chances for us."
BROOMFIELD 3, ROCK CANYON 0
At BroomfieldRock Canyon (7-6-3)00—0
Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Michael Mooney (Tanner Smith), 48th minute; Smith (unassisted), 56th; Smith (Mooney), 64th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Rock Canyon: Will Durbin (75-3-8), Ian Fleming (5-0-0); Broomfield: Jose Ogaz (71-0-1), Kaden Carson (9-0-0).