NIWOT — The first game of the spring season is always a lesson in humility for most coaches and players.
There are generally zero expectations after a week or so of practice and just staying healthy is the name of the game in March.
Wins are just a bonus.
At Broomfield, where winning soccer is expected, coach Jim Davidson subscribes to that philosophy, but at the same time knows what his girls are capable of.
And for the first 40 minutes on Thursday afternoon, his Eagles played crisp soccer against Niwot, scoring three goals and making them stand up for a 3-1 victory over the Cougars.
"We were pretty comfortable today and fortunately we took care of it in the first 40 minutes," said Davidson, who is coming off a 2015 season in which he was named the National high school coach of the year for boys and was a finalist for the girls.
Broomfield, which started the season No. 2 in the CHSAANow.com Class 5A poll, controlled the run of play in the opening half right from the opening whistle and it only took five minutes for them to get on the board.
Senior captain Makena Bambei, destined for Idaho State in the fall, ripped a left-footed shot through traffic that beat the out-stretched hands of a diving Ali Colvin at her far post.
Bambei nearly had No. 2 moments later when she banged a direct free kick off the bar.
The second goal would come in the 16th minute on a beautiful give-and-go between the two University of Wyoming commits Michaela Stark and Brooklynn Mooney. Stark split the defense with a deft one-touch pass through two Cougars defenders that sprung Mooney for the 1-v-1 chance with Colvin.
Stark would bag the Eagles' final goal just before half, roofing a shot past Colvin.
It was just the kind of start Davidson, whose team opens the season with three consecutive road games, wanted to see and knows that the month of March is full of tinkering.
"It's a lot of figuring how we want to go about it. How we want to defend, keeping shape and just getting better in every facet of the game," he said. "I'm not so concerned about results right now, although they are important if we want to win, but I think it is more about growing into the game and growing into our system."
Niwot to their credit didn't just roll over for the Eagles and played a much better second half. The Cougars were rewarded for their effort in the waning moments of the match with a goal from senior Sophia Laughlin.
"We bunkered a little bit, we tried to do some stuff and they got a goal early and we panicked," Niwot coach Rob Johnson said. "In the second half we talked about how it is just soccer and we played a little bit better."
Niwot will try to get win No. 1 on Monday at Peak to Peak. Broomfield will travel to Colorado Springs on Saturday to play longtime 4A rival Liberty and then again on Monday at Standley Lake.
Broomfield 3, Niwot 1
At NiwotBroomfield (1-0) 3 0 — 3
Niwot (0-1) 0 1 — 1
Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Makena Bambei (unassisted), 6th minute; Brooklynn Mooney (Michaela Stark), 16th; Stark (unassisted), 33rd; Niwot: Sophia Laughlin (unassisted), 77th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Broomfield: Shannon Mooney (50-0-1), Grace Fuller (20-0-0), Emily Walerius (10-1-0); Niwot: Ali Colvin (40-3-4), Sophie Stortz (40-0-6).