The number to the left of the name on the Class 5A boys soccer bracket doesn’t mean a darn thing.
When all is said and done, you have to beat everybody in front of you to reach the ultimate goal. That said, the No. 12-seeded Broomfield Eagles will gladly go about their business and that starts on Thursday evening against No. 21 Lakewood at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium.
“Just the depth of the bracket is pretty overwhelming,” Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said. “That’s kind of the difference between that 4A and 5A bracket is that you just look at it and you feel like there are several teams that could win the state championship; whereas in years past I thought there would really only be two or three teams that were going to make a run for that 4A championship.
“It’s just brutal and it’s going to be very challenging.”
It’s very cliche, but the whole one-game-at-a-time approach to the playoffs is very relevant in this case.
“If you take a night off, you are going to get punished,” Davidson added. “I anticipate a very tough first round match against Lakewood. Certainly you project out and kind of think about matchups beyond that, but I can guarantee you we will have our boys thinking only about Thursday.”
The Eagles were already in playoff mode in the final game of the regular season. They approached last week’s season finale against Monarch as a must-win to get in — especially after going 1-2-1 in their previous four matches — and they played like it in a 2-1 win.
Junior Porter Milner has been fantastic for the Eagles, leading the team with eight goals and seven assists from his central midfielder position. The Eagles are deep and different players have learned their roles, either coming off the bench or starting.
And don’t let that record fool you, their four losses were all by one goal games and Davidson’s crew is always competitive.
“We were in good form the other night against Monarch, especially with so much on the line,” Davidson said. “I feel like we are in every match and I also feel like we really haven’t been out-played this year. In the games we lost, we were certainly every bit the equal of the teams we played, but that is the competitive nature of the Front Range League; you can play really well and still lose.”
Despite the turnaround season, which saw the Legacy double their win total from the previous year, the Lightning did not make the Class 5A tournament.
Legacy started season 6-1, but struggled down the stretch against the Front Range League and finished the season 6-7-2. The Lightning were 2-7-2 in the league.
For Holy Family, its inaugural season in Class 4A finished with a 5-9-1 mark and a disappointing fourth in the Tri-Valley League. The Tigers missed out on a playoff opportunity in a league that only has two representatives in the 32-team 4A bracket.
In Class 3A, Jefferson Academy — despite two losses to end the season — made its way into the field.
The Jaguars are the No. 21 seed and will travel to Vail on Friday to open the tournament against No. 12 Telluride. Should coach Matt Cassell’s team win on Friday, they will turn right back around on Saturday to play the winner of the Vail Mountain-Vanguard game.
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