BROOMFIELD -- Maddie Kuzik missed a good portion of her junior season due to a suspected skull fracture. But the Holy Family forward recently has more than made up for lost time.
On Saturday, Kuzik continued her assault on the opposition's goal, leading the top-seeded Tigers to a convincing win in the second round of the Class 3A state tournament. The forward netted both of her team's goals in its 2-0 win over No. 17 Middle Park at the Broomfield County Commons.
Her finishing work was spectacular, but given how she preformed her previous two outings Kuzik was hoping for a little more.
"The last two games, I've had hat tricks," the junior said. "So I don't believe this is the best game I've had. A win is a win, but I've been preforming better."
Kuzik's work Saturday against Middle Park (10-7) sets Holy Family (15-2) on the path to a heated quarterfinals match Thursday evening on their home turf. The Tigers face No. 8 Colorado Academy (11-4-2), the only Metro League team to beat the Tigers this season.
"They're a good squad and it's going to be heck of a game," Holy Family coach George Connolly said. "But we need to finish better than we did today if we want to beat them."
Holy Family was the more aggressive team Saturday, but had trouble sticking the ball in the back of the net. Middle Park went all-in on stopping the Tigers attack. The Panthers hunkered down in the Holy Family attacking third for the majority of the game in an attempt to thwart a goal. It had an affect on the Tigers' offense with the team just off on a number of early looks on frame.
One of the most frustrating series came early, when Daryl Mitzel pulled the trigger on three attacks in the first 12 minutes. One shot went off the crossbar, the next was saved and her final one went wide.
"I think we tried to move the ball too far inside too many times today," said Connolly, whose Tigers out-shot Middle Park 9-0. "We could have probably made more goals if we would have shot sooner."
Kuzik had the right touch, despite the traffic. The forward opened the game's scoring in the 37th minute and closed it the 52nd. The junior's first goal of the game caught the Panthers by surprise, with Kuzik banking the ball into the net off the crossbar. Her second goal then showed the forward's grit. Kuzik split the Middle Park defense, then attacked the near post.
Kuzik's recent tear on offense has heartened the junior, who missed 12 games of the season.
"It feels good to give back to my team," she said. "I'm going to give everything to win state."
Holy Family 2, Middle Park 0
At Broomfield County Commons
Middle Park (10-7) 0 0 -- 0
Holy Family (15-2) 1 1 -- 2
Goals (assists) -- Holy Family: Maddie Kuzik (Domonique Giron), 37th minute; Holy Family: Maddie Kuzik (unassisted), 52nd minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) -- Middle Park: Haley Nordin (80-2-9). Holy Family: Quinn (40-0-0), Krenz (40-0-0).