BROOMFIELD —A violent collision sidelined Boulder forward Milo Lewon late in the opening half.
Sore and a bit shaken, though, the senior returned in time to send the Panthers home with a 1-0 win as part of another classic matchup with Broomfield at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium.
In the waning minutes of a well-played scoreless affair, Fabian Valencia skied a long boot in front of the box to connect with Lewon, who had slid between two defenders. Lewon, who only missed the last few minutes of first half after a cringe-worthy crash with Broomfield keeper Kaden Carson, then popped a chance over a charging Carson and into the net in the 73rd minute.
Lewon said he was sore afterwards. He'll feel it later.
"I feel awesome now," he said. "I don't feel any pain."
Boulder (6-0, 2-0), ranked No. 1 in 5A in the CHSAANow media poll, won its fourth straight over the fourth-ranked Eagles (4-2, 1-1) in an early Front Range League game that featured the two programs who have shared the Class 5A state crown over the past four years.
Momentum spun from side to side throughout the night with each team getting good looks and gritty individual efforts.
As the night's intensity grew the sunny skies from early in the evening faded into a cloudy drizzle. In it, Broomfield had its chances to take a lead — and narrowly missed a few tying ones in final minutes, too.
Tanner Smith made a Superman leap at a cross chance in the box that barely missed his head in the 67th minute. He then came back to have a free kick sail just high of the net in the 75th.
In the final minute, the Eagles nearly pushed through a chance amidst a scrum in front of the net. Nothing stuck.
"That one was a bit of a stinger," Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said. "I thought the goal came in the run of play. I thought on balance we were a little better on the evening. So that was too bad to just have that one breakdown defensively."
Lewon played the hero for Boulder on this night.
Late in the first half, the first-year starter was charging after a through ball and was a half-step behind putting a header on it. Instead, the senior ended up flying into Carson, who somehow managed to secure the ball on a hop and through the contact.
Carson stayed in the game while the smaller-statured Lewon ended up on the ground.
"I didn't expect him to get up," Boulder coach Hardy Kalisher said. "I thought there might have been a rib on that one. But the goalie is allowed to protect himself and (Milo) was running full-steam. Just a soccer play."
Lewon returned in good time. He watched anxiously as his winning shot curled closer and closer to the left post before squeezing in.
"Just snuck in," he grinned.
The Panthers came into Monday's game ranked third in the 5A RPI standings. The defending-champion Eagles were eighth.
If history is an indicator, the two could very well meet up once again in the postseason. Broomfield has won three of the last four state titles in 5A, while Boulder has the other. The Eagles began the northern state dominance with a 2-0 win at state over the Panthers in 2014. Boulder came back two years later and capped off a perfect 20-0 season with a classic, 14-round shootout to win the title over the Eagles in 2016.
Brent W. New: email@example.com
Boulder 1, Broomfield 0
AtElizabeth Kennedy StadiumBoulder (6-0)01—1Broomfield (4-2)00—0
Goals (assists) —Boulder: Milo Lewon (Fabian Valencia) 73rd minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Boulder: Toby Bateman (80-0-4); Broomfield: Kaden Carson (80-1-6).