BROOMFIELD — There were times over the last few weeks that Broomfield starting back Marina Davidson was pulled from the match and never returned.
It was just the fire she needed lit under her by her head coach Jim Davidson — no relation — to fuel her as well as her defensive mates on Wednesday in the Class 5A state quarterfinals against a very talented offensive side from Fairview.
"He simply told me to be a leader and that you're in the starting line-up for a reason, now go show it," said Marina Davidson, who man-marked the Knights Tea Smith for much of the evening. "It gave me the confidence to stand up to (Smith), because she is way bigger than me."
The Eagles defense, which was challenged for most of the night, held its ground and was instrumental in their 4-1 victory over the Knights which propelled them into Saturday's state semifinals against Arapahoe at Legacy Stadium in Aurora.
"We were fantastic across the back line. Our shape and our commitment, when you go to ground and when you win the balls in the air to get out of pressure; they were just super well organized," said Jim Davidson, whose No. 8-seeded Eagles improve to 15-2-1. "Marina gave it everything and Elle (Webber) was right there right next to her in a great partnership tonight. Cara Quinn was spectacular and Jessie (Mooney) did really well.
"We trained a lot of defensive shape this week, which we really haven't had a chance to do, because we don't get to train with this schedule."
Sixteenth-seeded Fairview, fresh off a thrilling shootout victory over top-seeded Cherry Creek, finishes the season 13-5.
The Knights found themselves in an early hole against an Eagles side that was itself coming off a nail-biting shoot-out victory over Columbine.
Broomfield junior Gia Lemley split the Knights defense after settling a failed clear and was given a clean look from the top the 18-yard box and roofed a shot over Fairview keeper Hayden Velds.
Less than 10 minute into the match, Lemley made it 2-0 when she pounced on Velds' missed clear and finished into an open net.
"It's really hard to come back against such a good team, but I'm proud of the way the girls fought, because anybody that came in here and looked at the scoreline, I'm not sure they would have been able to tell which team was winning for vast periods of the game," Fairview coach Jeff Frykholm said. "And that happens, we gave up four crazy goals and you could play another five games and not see another goal like that."
Fairview, to its credit, didn't fold. The Knights continue to push the play and, as Frykholm said, dictated things for stretches. It resulted in their lone goal in the 18th minute. A well-placed free kick from Skylar Anderson to Grace Fuller's far post was nodded home by Olivia Hays.
But the soccer gods were clearly not on Fairview side and Broomfield's third goal proved to be a back-breaker. Hailey Stodden's cross from near the corner flag was cleared into the back of Velds' goal by a defender.
"I was kind of agonizing over the match-up because Jeff does such a great job of organizing his team and we survived it a little bit tonight," Jim Davidson said. "They made a couple of defensive mistakes which we capitalized on, but otherwise this game is really darn tight."
Stodden would continue her torrid scoring pace over the last month, banging home the final goal of the night in the 57th minute.
"I said all along that the team that got out of our quadrant and into the final four would have done really well," Jim Davidson said. "Our girls have done terrific work to get into that final group. Arapahoe is in good form right now and we are going to have to deal with it."
BROOMFIELD 4, FAIRVIEW 1
At BroomfieldFairview (13-5)10—1Broomfield (15-2-1)31—4
Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Gia Lemley (unassisted), 4th minute; Lemley (unassisted), 10th; Fairview: Olivia Hays (Skylar Anderson), 18th; Broomfield: Own goal, 22nd; Hailey Stodden (unassisted), 57th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fairview: Hayden Velds (73-4-5), Sawyer Whittle (7-0-0); Broomfield: Grace Fuller (80-1-3).