BROOMFIELD — The legacy of the Broomfield girls soccer program is such that anything less than an appearance in the quarterfinals of playoffs would be an absolute shocker. On Friday night at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium, the Eagles were just a few minutes away from that tremendous streak coming to an end.
But it just took some active feet and a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps mentality for the Eagles to tie upset-minded Columbine at 2-2 before the end of regulation of their Class 5A second round game, and eventually Broomfield was able to celebrate another playoff victory with a dramatic 4-3 edge in penalty kicks.
We say eventually celebrate because, well, no one on the pitch fully knows the procedure regarding penalty kicks since it is only used in the postseason. But after Eagles goalkeeper Grace Fuller stopped the Rebels' Aspen Headrick dead cold in the fifth and final round, the referee whistled the end of the game and BHS' line of athletes made a bee line for their keeper.
"We knew coming in, and Jim really put it like that, too, that this was as good as a semifinal game and they were just one seed behind us," said Fuller, who had five saves during the run of play as Broomfield advanced to face Fairview in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. "We knew we had to play our game."
"This wacky RPI, it's just insane that Columbine was a (No. 9 seed) because they are such a good team," said Broomfield head coach Jim Davidson, who you might say is well-versed in the PK rules. "This was a very even match in many periods of the game, and I thought Columbine did a superb job of defending."
This was a match between the Nos. 8 (BHS) and 9 (CHS) teams in the bracket, but for all intents and purposes could have been a semifinal on reputation. Both teams lost in last year's semis, and Columbine was the 5A champ in 2014. Broomfield, of course, has two runner-up finishes in the past three years, as well.
The game played true to form, as each team found some strikes throughout the game. Broomfield scored just 1 minute, 56 seconds in as Hailey Stodden found a streaking Ashley Tuccio, and the Eagles put immediate pressure on Columbine's defense. That turned out, however, to be the lone goal of the first stanza.
Columbine scored its two goals in a span of seven minutes, and both came off the foot of sophomore Tessa Barton. She won a battle at the top of the 18-yard box in the 43rd minute to position herself for the first tally, then finished a cross from Amanda Porter in the 50th minute to take a 2-1 lead.
The last 30 minutes really belonged to Broomfield, who managed to gain several set piece opportunities in that time and applied pressure up top. With 5:22 left, finally, the Eagles were able to surround a ball in the box off Jessie Mooney's corner kick feed, and Izzy Munsell was credited with the kick-in to tie it up.
Broomfield had the majority of chances in both overtimes, but it was still 2-2 after 110 minutes. On penalty kicks, each team made goals the first three rounds before the Rebels' Kaitlyn Weiser missed looking for the top right shelf in round four after Tuccio had made her attempt.
Gia Lemley shot over the top, too, but that just allowed Fuller to get a chance to make a great save.
"We had let them back into the game, and we knew everyone just had to get back into it," Fuller said. "Everyone did their job. I practiced (penalty kicks on Thursday), and I really just went for it. I don't really know other than I just went for it."
"We switched off the first 10 minutes of the second half and Columbine went after it. But I think we did a good job of grasping the game back," said Davidson, who witnessed Stodden, Mooney and Tessa Wagner convert PK's, as well. "They handled themselves well, and it was too bad that it went to penalties. But thank God for Grace Fuller."
Wednesday's game against the Knights will also be at Broomfield, presumably at 6 p.m. It is a rematch of a 2-0 Broomfield win from April 18.
Broomfield 2, Columbine 2
Broomfield wins on penalty kicks 4-3
At Elizabeth Kennedy StadiumColumbine (12-5)0200—2
Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Ashley Tuccio (Hailey Stodden assist) 2nd minute; Columbine: Tessa Barton (unassisted), 43rd; Columbine: Barton (Amanda Porter), 50th; Broomfield: Izzy Munsell (Jessie Mooney), 75th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Columbine: Madeline Samuelson (110-2-11); Broomfield: Grace Fuller (110-2-5).
Penalty kicks — Columbine: Porter (good), Barton (good), Teagan Marshall (good), Kaitlyn Weiser (miss), Aspen Headrick (save); Broomfield: Stodden (good), Mooney (good), Tessa Wagner (good), Tuccio (good), Gia Lemley (miss).