WESTMINSTER — Two of the area's most threatening scorers in girls soccer got going early Thursday night on the North Stadium pitch as Front Range League rivals Legacy and Broomfield clashed for county supremacy.
The Eagles' Hailey Stodden, however, ended up putting together another performance that was just too much to keep up with in what could be her final time playing against the Lightning. With her team eyeing the outright league title with a win, the senior Stodden bagged all three of BHS' goals in a 3-1 win, also the Eagles' third straight win in the local confrontation.
A decisive goal within the final minute of the first half put visiting Broomfield back in control, but sophomore Mallory Mooney and Stodden were not done, connecting for the game and sealed the Lightning's fate with a highlight-reel score in the 61st minute of play.
Legacy's Gracie Armstrong scored her 16th goal of the year, as well, but the Lightning (11-4, 8-4 FRL) could not add to their count on the board after the 7th minute of play.
"This is a great example of why I play high school ... because you get to play a game in front of your friends and family and you just don't experience that in club," said Stodden, who now has a good chance at leading Class 5A in regular season goals as Thursday's hat trick put her at 27 for the year. "It's a great feeling to play against your rival school, and every time you play them it's just another reason to go that much harder."
"Just playing a rivalry game, coming across town and playing a good team and a well-coached team, being able to get on the bus with a win feels nice," said Broomfield head coach Jim Davidson, whose team (13-0-1, 11-0-1) wraps up at Cherry Creek on Saturday before learning of their playoff positioning on Sunday. "We gave up kind of a bad goal after we had scored, just came really fast and it took the air out of the game for us. It was a struggle for the next 20 minutes to find a foothold again, but that goal right before half allowed us to feel better about ourselves and go get the game in the second half."
The Eagles have Lightning have had some tussles, but the past three season's results have now gone to Broomfield (the Eagles now lead the series 4-2-1 according to MaxPreps.com). The Eagles were looking for at least a tie with LHS in order to secure the FRL, but there was no denying the fact Stodden and Co. wanted the full result.
Neither team had established much before Stodden found the back of the net just five minutes in after Jess Mooney was able to get just enough of a lob pass into Stodden's territory on the top right of the goal box, but Armstrong came right back just two minutes later to hit a laser of a shot into the top corner of the opposite goal and make it a 1-1 contest.
It took until there was 52 seconds left in the first half before anything concrete developed for either side. Mallory Mooney worked the ball along the sidelines past midfield and crossed to a streaking Stodden at about 35 yards out, and she was not to be denied one-on-one against Legacy goalie Makenna Gottschalk.
Armstrong had a great chance from about 10 yards out in the 51st minute that rang off the crossbar — one of seven second-half shots for the Lightning — but the LHS defense allowed Stodden to complete her sixth hat trick (that includes a four-goal game) with a run from midfield. Stodden gained a head of steam, set up a give-and-go with Mooney and found the net off a defender's slight deflection.
"It's good playing with her because she has such great vision," Stodden said. "We stepped it up in the second half, and it was no longer a scary game after that last one."
"It's a game of key moments, and can you be sharp in those moments?" Legacy coach Luke Meadows said. "It's coach speak, but how you go in the first 10 minutes of each half and the last 10 minutes of each half (is important). Today was a big 'X' for us in that last 10 minutes of that half.
"We had chances. But in their key moments, they scored. They had that one player that was just a little bit sharper."
The Lightning will be waiting for Sunday, too, with no doubt they should finish within the top 16 in Class 5A and get a first round home playoff game.
Broomfield is still in the mix for the classification's top overall seed, according to RPI.
Broomfield 3, Legacy 1
At North StadiumBroomfield (13-0-1, 11-0-1)21—3
Legacy (11-4, 8-4)10—1
Goals (assists) —Broomfield: Hailey Stodden (assist), 5th minute; Legacy: Gracie Armstrong (unassisted), 7th minute; Broomfield: Hailey Stodden (Mallory Mooney assist), 40th minute; Broomfield: Hailey Stodden (Mallory Mooney assist), 61st minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Broomfield: Grace Fuller (80-1-2); Legacy: Makenna Gottschalk (74-2-5), Katie Dunbabin (6-1-0).