BROOMFIELD — Had it been cool enough for coaches Jim Davidson and Justin Stephens to wear long sleeves to keep any extra tricks up there, it probably wouldn’t have mattered.
Broomfield coach Davidson — the mentor to his former player Stephens, now the Fort Collins coach — is more than familiar with what his protégé is doing, and the tactical showdown on Saturday afternoon at a sweltering Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium proved it.
Despite playing with a man advantage for nearly 70 minutes, Broomfield was unable to solve the Lambkins’ steadfast back line and the two teams played to a 0-0 draw. It was the first match of the season for both squads.
“Justin has such a technical team that they are still able to play a possession-oriented game,” Davidson said. “And still able to have an attacking mentality and I think he trusted the numbers to go forward.”
Said Stephens, who played on the Eagles’ 1999 championship under coach Davidson: “Some of the most coaching I get do all year is in this game, because I know Jim’s going to his back pocket and he knows what I’m trying to do and I know what he’s trying to do. Soccer is a players game and I love that about soccer, but this is the one time I get to be a little more involved.”
Early on the possession belonged to the young Eagles, who managed three shots on goal in the first half, but nothing that really challenged Fort Collins keeper Jack Jordan.
Late in the half, Lambkins junior forward Josh Nelson was booked with his second yellow card, which results in disqualification and thus put the Eagles a man-up for the remainder of the game.
It almost paid off early in the second half. Junior striker Marco Fraire got behind the defense and had a one-on-one chance against Jordan, who timed his challenge just right and made the play.
The heat eventually wore both teams down and the temperature on the artificial turf was unbearable. Neither team had much left in the tank for either of the now-10 minute extra sessions.
“When we went into the overtime, that’s when it really killed us and being on this turf just makes it so much hotter,” said Eagles sophomore Porter Milner, whose flip throws from the sideline where a constant threat. “It just kills your feet.”
Fort Collins didn’t manage a shot on goal in regulation time but did in overtime. Within a 75-second stretch, Lambkins junior Derek Poehlmann just missed a sliding attempt that would have put the game away, and then another chance was pushed over the bar by sophomore goalie Michael Genge, who was playing his first game since breaking his arm in the playoffs last season.
“I’m thrilled, but I know the guys are a little disappointed that they didn’t get a win at home,” Davidson said. “We are so young and at one point I had seven sophomores and a freshman out on the field, and for us to play an experienced team like Fort Collins and having a chance to win the match and to get out with a result, I’m thrilled. Especially against one of the best 5A teams in the state.”
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Broomfield 0, Fort Collins 0 (2OT)
At Broomfield H.S.
Fort Collins (0-0-1) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Broomfield (0-0-1) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — None.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fort Collins: Jack Jordan (100-0-5); Broomfield: Genge (100-0-3).