BROOMFIELD — With two of Broomfield’s three soccer captains sidelined by injury Tuesday night, Jacob Bellendir was flying solo.
His go-ahead goal, albeit a weird one, helped put his senior co-captains at ease.
Bellendir scored on an indirect free kick in the first half, and leading scorer Connor Metzger added a late tally as the top-ranked Eagles held off gritty Centaurus 2-0 in a Class 4A Northern League game.
“It came at a good time,” Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said of Bellendir’s goal. “We were playing in a new system tonight because of the injuries, and I just thought if we could get to halftime up a goal that we would do well.”
Now, a player cannot score on an indirect free kick — unless the ball is touched. Bellendir lined up on the left sideline and lofted a ball toward the net. Centaurus goalkeeper Ventura Dominguez tried to play it in order to keep it away from the swarming Eagles out in front.
The ball deflected off of Dominguez’s outstretched hands and into the net. Broomfield (9-1-2, 6-0-0) led 1-0 in the 29th minute.
“Jim just tells me to hit towards the goalie, and that’s what I was going for,” Bellendir said. “It eventually worked. It slipped by him so it was kind of lucky because I was aiming for Connor, but it worked out well.”
Centaurus (4-6-3, 3-3-1) is in a mad dash to stay in the playoff hunt, and the Warriors were sharp and intense in the second half. Strikers Gabe Antunez and Harain Aldama applied repeated pressure, registering several quality chances that were turned away by Broomfield freshman keeper Michael Genge.
The bid to tie things essentially ended in the 67th minute, when sophomore Giovanni Nunez was assessed a red card and the Warriors had to play a man down. Metzger put it out of reach in the 74th minute, when he headed in an on-the-money pass from freshman Jake Zec for his 16th goal of the season.
“We worked hard,” Centaurus coach Ken Ebersole said. “It was a really tough mistake in the first half, and second half we worked like crazy. It was frustrating because I thought we were going to get one, and I figured if we get one, maybe they get a little rattled.”
Broomfield was coming off a 0-0 stalemate with 5A Grandview on Saturday, a game in which senior captains Clay Fiscus (hamstring) and Davis DiGregorio (foot) were injured. Each is expected back for Friday’s game at Thompson Valley.
The one remaining captain made sure to represent. It was Bellendir’s fifth goal of the season.
“With two senior captains out with injury, we had to adjust to that and we had a lot of inexperienced players out there,” Davidson said. “They got some good minutes and handled themselves well, so there’s some positives to take from that.”
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Broomfield 2, Centaurus 0
At Broomfield H.S.
Centaurus (4-6-3, 3-3-1) 0 0 — 0
Broomfield (9-1-2, 6-0-0) 1 1 — 2
Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Bellendir, 29th minute; Broomfield: Metzger (Zec), 74th.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Centaurus: Dominguez (80-2-2); Broomfield: Genge (80-0-5).