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Boys soccer: Broomfield’s offense comes alive in shutout of Niwot

Broomfield's Connor Mascarenas (left) battles with Niwot's Logan Harrison on Thursday. Mascarenas scored a key goal for the Eagles in Broomfield's 4-0 victory.
Matthew Jonas
Broomfield’s Connor Mascarenas (left) battles with Niwot’s Logan Harrison on Thursday. Mascarenas scored a key goal for the Eagles in Broomfield’s 4-0 victory.

NIWOT — When a young team — albeit talented — is struggling to put the ball in the back of the net, they will usually take goals any way they can get them.

They don’t have to be pretty because even the ugly ones count.

For Jim Davidson’s Class 4A No. 2-ranked Broomfield team, goals have been hard to come by of late — see Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with a talented Greeley Central team — but the Eagles broke out in a big way on Thursday night at Niwot, beating the No. 8 Cougars 4-0 in a crucial Northern League match.

“We were pretty good going forward against Greeley Central the other night and had something like 25 or 30 shots and nothing to show for it,” Davidson said. “”I’m glad that the guys stayed with it and trusted their attacking game and we finished a lot better today.”

What was the catalyst for the Broomfield offense? An inadvertent handball in the box by Niwot’s Panupoan Xiong gave the Eagles a penalty kick in the 25th minute and senior Bridger Burnett converted rather nonchalantly against Cougars keeper Nick Oelsner.

It was a call that didn’t sit right with Niwot coach Rob Johnson, who thought it was an unnecessary call that seemed to deflate his team a bit.

“I wasn’t happy with the PK, but because of it, now our heads are down and that’s what allowed the second goal,” he said. “The PK didn’t allow the third or the fourth. Any time we have adversity, we need to step up and be a little bit better.”

That second goal came just over a minute and a half later. With the offense feeling rejuvenated, the Eagles took advantage of a stunned Cougars back line when junior Connor Mascarenas scored his second goal of the season. His rather harmless-looking shot trickled into the net after Oelsner let it go thinking it was just going to go wide.

The Niwot strikers never really found many openings in the Broomfield defense and Danny Witt and Co. struggled to not only maintain any sort of possession, but have any sort of quality chances against Broomfield goalie Michael Genge, who finished with four saves.

Broomfield’s playmakers stepped up midway through the second half to combine for a beautiful goal. Sophomore midfielder Porter Milner made a run down the right flank of the Niwot defense and crossed to striker Connor Metzger, who one touched a shot into the back of the net.

“The guys responded, because we had had the same exact moment about a minute earlier and we didn’t commit that player deep into the box,” Davidson said. “I think Connor saw that play and adjusted to it, so when Porter got himself through it was a just a fantastic service and a great finish.”

Ben Gibble would cap the scoring for the Eagles with 10 minutes to play, scoring on a direct free kick from long range.

The win is just the momentum Davidson’s club needed going into the final stretch of the season and a result not lost on his players either, who know 4-0 victories at a place like Niwot are rare.

“It’s huge, this is a big confidence booster going into next week and then the week after that with the playoffs coming up,” Burnett said.

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Broomfield 4, Niwot 0

At Niwot H.S.

Broomfield (8-2-2, 5-0-1) 2 2 — 4

Niwot (5-3-1, 3-1) 0 0 — 0

Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Bridger Burnett (penalty kick), 25th minute; Connor Mascarenas (unassisted), 26th; Connor Metzger (Porter Milner), 55th; Gibble (unassisted), 70th.

Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Broomfield: Michael Genge (80-0-4); Niwot: Nick Oelsner (80-4-3).

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