HIGHLANDS RANCH — Similar in more ways than name alone, both the 12th-seeded Broomfield Eagles and fifth-seeded Mountain Vista Golden Eagles reached the Round of 16 in the Class 5A state tournament with similar strategies.
Both teams play good defense and possess the ball. That strategic standoff led to a neatly played game but few scoring opportunities when two of Colorado’s best defensive prep programs faced each other Wednesday night at Shea Stadium.
Against a Golden Eagles team that allowed an average of just 0.6 goals per game entering Wednesday’s game, it was Mountain Vista that flinched first and Broomfield that capitalized for a 2-0 victory.
“They’re a really good team but we stuck with it on defense and offensively it came to us,” Eagles junior center back Tyler Duggan said. “We felt like, defensively, if we stayed strong then our offense would come through. We all knew we had it in us but could we actually win the game was the question. If we play like we just did, we can beat anybody.”
Neither Broomfield (10-4-3) nor Golden Eagles (11-4-2) could muster much against the others’ back line. In the first half, the Eagles had three shots on goal to Mountain Vista’s one.
In the 52nd minute, Broomfield junior Luke Cangilla broke free on the right side of the box and played a low cross to the back post. Mountain Vista defender Brandon Barich attempted to clear the threat but instead deflected the ball into his team’s goal.
“We were just working hard and I decided to put the ball in front of the net,” Cangilla said. “It’s always dangerous when the ball is between the goalie and their defenders. It just happened to go in. They’re a great team. We scrimmaged them earlier in the season and we tied them. We just got the better of them tonight.”
While the Broomfield defense warded off the Golden Eagles’ furious efforts to tie the game, Eagles junior Porter Milner seized an opportunity to seal the win. Awarded a corner kick in the 72nd minute, Milner took matters into his own hands and fired the ball off the back post and into the goal.
After Milner’s miraculous score, which was Broomfield’s lone shot on goal after halftime, the defense held up in the final seven minutes for the shutout. Including a 3-0 win over Lakewood in the first round, Broomfield has now have shut out eight opponents this season and have not allowed a goal in the postseason.
Mountain Vista outshot the Eagles 11-8 but Broomfield put four on goal while the Golden Eagles put just two shots on target, both of which found the sure hands of Broomfield junior goalkeeper Michael Genge.
Broomfield reached the quarterfinals of last season’s 4A state tournament, where the Eagles lost 4-0 to Evergreen. Broomfield will visit fourth-seeded Doherty (14-2-1) in the quarterfinals Saturday.
“Our kids responded really well at halftime to the adjustments we made so I was pleased with our disposition and our ability to handle it,” Eagles head coach Jim Davidson said. “Doherty has had back-to-back seasons where they’ve really been putting it together … we’ll just go play the game.”
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Broomfield 2, Mountain Vista 0
At Shea Stadium
Broomfield (10-4-3) 0 2 — 2
Mountain Vista (11-4-2) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Luke Cangilla (own goal), 52nd minute; Porter Milner, 72nd minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Broomfield: Michael Genge (80-0-2); Mountain Vista: Jake Hutto (80-2-3).