COMMERCE CITY — The Broomfield Eagles will not play the what-if game. Their coach won't allow it.
On Wednesday night, they were in search of their first girls state title since 2006 and left absolutely everything they had on the Dick's Sporting Good turf against the top-seeded Grandview Wolves.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. Grandview's Caylin Lyubenko's overhead flick in the first overtime hit the one spot on the post that allowed it to deflect in and stun the Eagles and their throng of faithful that showed up in full force to back their side.
"We were the better side in the second half and we had opportunities to go win the game, we just didn't go take advantage of our chances as well as we could of," Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said, "But it doesn't diminish the effort.
"I just told the girls that it is arguably the single greatest effort in a match that I've ever seen from one of our teams. So in many ways, I thought that they deserved to go win the game."
After a dominating second half from the Eagles, where they took back the possession from Grandview, it was Broomfield that had the momentum going to extra time.
And it was the Eagles that had the early chances in the overtime, with the final of their seven corner kicks.
But it was the Wolves, who only had three shots on goal in the match, that made the most of their opportunity. Shalom Prince's throw-in to the top of the box didn't look like much of a threat and neither did Lyubenko's seemingly harmless overhead. But the junior got lucky and with her back to the goal, likely never saw her shot graze the post and trickle in.
A shell-shocked Broomfield keeper, Grace Fuller, was in perfect position, "but sometimes, literally, the ball bounces in the wrong direction," Davidson said.
And to Davidson's and the rest of the Eagles' credit, they were quick to console their heartbroken keeper.
"Our team gave everything they had this game and the entire season and sometimes goals like that just happen," Fuller said. "There's nothing you can really do about it. I don't think we should put our heads down, because we put in the work to get here."
Broomfield's best chances came in the opening 10 minutes when Jessie Mooney's direct free kick from just outside the 18-yard box was pushed over the bar by Wolves keeper Reagan McCombs. Two minutes later Lindsay Hudson had a shot just miss.
Finally in the waning seconds of the first half, Broomfield's Mallory Mooney had her shot again punched over by McCombs after a brilliant corner from Jessie Mooney.
The effort all the way around from the Eagles, including from their star Hailey Stodden — who had to work hard all night for all of her touches against a talented Wolves defense, especially junior Lauren Holleran — was unreal.
And there were some — notably those outside the Eagles camp — that were of the belief that they didn't have what it took to get to this point given the injury bug that bit them hard even before the season began.
"That next man up mentality was us and that was what defined us, just that mentality, grit, personality and love for one another," Davidson said. "We really wanted to see this one out with this team and I loved coaching this team."
CLASS 5A CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
GRANDVIEW 1, BROOMFIELD 0 OT
At Dick's Sporting Goods ParkBroomfield (18-1-1)000—0
Goals (assists) — Grandview: Caylin Lyubenko (unassisted), 84th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Broomfield: Grace Fuller (84-1-2); Grandview: Reagan McCombs (40-0-4), Maddie Livingston (44-0-2).