BROOMFIELD — Prep soccer teams across the state of Colorado dream of the type of quality players the Broomfield girls soccer club seems to field every single year.
Given their perennial masterfulness, the Eagles still graduated possibly the best senior class that has ever come through the halls at Broomfield High after last season. To rebound from such a thing would be quite an accomplishment, even for the Eagles.
Apparently, the Eagles (3-0, 2-0 Front Range League) showed they are up to the challenge after Wednesday night's late rivalry win over a quality Monarch (1-3, 0-1) club. With Monarch dominating and controlling the pace for much of the game, it took the Eagles until the 78th minute to finally pull out a 1-0 victory.
The late win kept the Eagles unbeaten heading into spring break with as strong a start as they've become accustomed to.
"We were kind of struggling to connect passes," Eagles junior Hailey Stodden said. "We just kept working hard for each other and we finally found the net. We have a lot of work to do and we'll just focus on the next game. With all the seniors that are gone, we're starting to get used to a different style and we're just keeping a competitive mindset."
The Eagles, who reached the state semifinals last season and finished runners-up the year before that, have yet to allow a goal this season and are currently ranked second in the CHSAANow.com poll. But for much of Wednesday's game against the Coyotes, it appeared their undamaged streak would go by the wayside as the visiting team controlled the ball.
In the 78th minute, Stodden found the back of the net and gave the Eagles the slight edge they needed.
"We won the game late," Eagles head coach Jim Davidson said. "It was a pretty wild exchange. Monarch caught us on a counter and hit a shot off the crossbar. But literally on the next play, we were able to find Hailey's feet and she had an absolutely amazing finish. We've got a lot of new kids on the field and we play like it sometimes. We had some great moments tonight against a Monarch team that did a great job defending.
"Our decision-making is coming along and our philosophy is always to try to attack and play a beautiful game. We've got a lot of experience at the back and we're working on finding our possession. We've done well to get three shutouts and it's important to keep our back line in order as we gain that experience up front."
For the Coyotes, who went 15-3 last season, Wednesday's loss was yet another tough game against yet another tough opponent. After reaching the state quarterfinals last season, the Coyotes have thus far faced two teams ranked in the top 10 and a solid ThunderRidge ream that received votes in the latest poll.
"Overall, it was a great performance," Coyotes head coach Eric Schmidt said. "It was a playoff atmosphere and they scored with a minute left. Most importantly for us, it's to focus on the process and tonight's game showed what this team is capable of."
The Eagles will hit the road to face Loveland on Tuesday, April 4. That same day, the Coyotes will face another local rival in Boulder at home.
Broomfield 1, Monarch 0
At Broomfield H.S.Monarch 00—0
Goals (assists) —Broomfield: Hailey Stodden, 78th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Monarch: Sophia Chen (80-1-4); Broomfield: Grace Fuller (80-0-9).