BROOMFIELD — More often than not in Colorado's ultra-competitive Front Range League girls soccer conference, which currently includes three of the top 10 Class 5A teams in the CHSAANow.com rankings, off nights prove costly.
The No. 2-ranked Broomfield Eagles are no exception to that unforgiving rule.
The Eagles had an off night against No. 10 Rocky Mountain on Thursday and paid for it, losing 1-0 at home and picking up their first conference loss of the season.
"I just feel like we were unprepared to play," Eagles head coach Jim Davidson said. "I thought that Rocky came in and they were clearly playing with a confidence that we were lacking and we were disappointed that our girls weren't as prepared as they should have been tonight. We've lost two of three games this week at home, so we are going in the wrong direction."
The Eagles (10-2, 8-1 Front Range) entered the week as the second-ranked team in the state and with a narrow lead in the Front Range League. They fell 2-0 to No. 1 Cherry Creek (13-0-1) on Saturday, while Thursday's loss will clutter things atop the conference standings with Legacy (12-1, 9-1 Front Range) beating No. 6 Fossil Ridge (11-1, 8-1 Front Range) that same evening in Fort Collins.
Rocky Mountain scored in the 19th minute on Thursday night when Mikayla Eccher scored her fifth goal of the season. Playing from behind, the Eagles did well to possess the ball in the Rocky Mountain half but struggled to turn their possessions into shots on goal.
"We were good to the box but then we just lacked any type of creativity and understanding," Davidson said. "Our instincts were off tonight, and they were very organized across their back line and big and strong and their physicality upset us tonight."
Eagles junior goalkeeper Grace Fuller, who has eight shutouts this season, made six saves. With three conference games remaining with a week left in the season, the Eagles will play at Fossil Ridge on Saturday, at Fort Collins (7-5, 6-4 Front Range) on Tuesday and will host Legacy on Thursday.
"We've just got to have a mentality that's a lot better," Davidson said. "Things were good, we had a lot of momentum and a lot of energy. Now all of a sudden over the last week, that seems to have dissipated. We're going to have to turn this thing around quickly or the state tournament is going to be really challenging for us."
Rocky Mountain 1, Broomfield 0
At Broomfield H.S.Rocky Mountain 10—1
Goals (assists) —Rocky Mountain: Mikayla Eccher (unnasisted), 19th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Rocky Mountain: Gabi McDonald (80-0-7); Broomfield: Grace Fuller (80-1-6).