PARKER — Heavy rain swept across EchoPark Stadium midway through the opening half of the Broomfield-Legend girls soccer game on Friday night, making for miserably messy conditions.
The Eagles still managed to come away from it spotless.
For a third straight season Broomfield finished the month of March unblemished, beating the Titans 4-1 before heading into its spring break.
Mallory Mooney scored the opening goal as a downpour began and finished with two, Abby Lenz and Shaylee Gailus also scored, and keeper Emily Stewart had five saves in the team's fourth straight win to open the season.
Players on both sides sprinted to the locker rooms following the final buzzer. Moody weather had blown wind and dumped cold and icy rain most of the night.
"In games like this it's just about embracing the weather and enjoying themselves," Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said. "I thought the girls' spirit was great."
Mooney said of it: "At first it wasn't that bad, but then the hail started to hurt, and it was hard to play in the cold weather. The ball just kind of goes everywhere."
Chalk it up as simply another challenge for the Eagles, who have a sizeable test this spring after graduating what Davidson called "possibly the most-heralded senior class" in history. Last year, Broomfield was ranked as one of the top teams in the country by national outlets and went undefeated during the season before falling to Grandview in overtime of the state title game.
Now with standouts like two-time BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year Hailey Stodden and all-region standout Gia Lemley gone, Davidson said his team's focus going forward centers around continual improvement — something he said he's been happy to see so far.
"I think we've grown in every match," Davidson said. "We played our best soccer tonight."
With the storm intensifying around the 25-minute mark of the first half, Broomfield pushed forward as Mooney took a cross in the box and beat Legend keeper Maddie Segrist to the left to make it 1-0 in the 31st minute. Lenz added to it when she rebounded Nikki Oelker's shot in the 41st.
Despite Broomfield's controlling and dominant effort, Legend made things interesting for a bit in the second half. The Titans scored on a Broomfield own-goal in the 49th minute and Stewart had to make a strong save around the 68th to keep the Eagles ahead.
Gailus and Mooney then salted things away with goals in the final minutes.
The Eagles now will wait 11 days before returning to game action on April 2 when they host Boulder.
"Our philosophy has always been it's really what we do after spring break that matters," Davidson said. "The league really starts up, we know games are going to tighten up, and I think we've handled the pressure well.
"It's going to be a process, no question. And I think there's going to be peaks and valleys, but hopefully we'll hit that run going into the playoffs."
Brent W. New: firstname.lastname@example.org and @brentwnew
Broomfield 4, Legend 1
At EchoPark StadiumBroomfield (4-0) 1 3 — 4
Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Mooney, 31st minute; Broomfield: Lenz, 41st; Legend: Preston, 49th; Broomfield: Gailus, 73rd; Broomfield: Mooney, 77th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Broomfield: Stewart (80-1-5).