AURORA — Jim Davidson was well aware of what his team was capable of.
Over the last month, despite a few unfavorable results, it appears his boys have bought in as well.
On Wednesday night at Legacy Stadium, Davidson’s Broomfield Eagles — playing in their first year in Class 5A — advanced to the state title game in thrilling fashion, beating Fairview 2-1 in overtime on Tyler Hulst’s rocket from long distance.
“What a great hit,” said Davidson, whose team moves into the title game against either Boulder or Smoky Hill on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. “It’s an unusual goal for Tyler, because Tyler isn’t the one who’s always going to take that shot from 25 yards out.
“He found himself in a little bit of space, took that ball laterally and man, what a hit.”
Hulst never even saw it go in.
“I actually thought it was over and I didn’t even see it go in,” said Hulst, who celebrated his second goal of the season with an emphatic backflip. “I flipped back up and (goalie Michael Genge) came running to me and I was like ‘What are you doing up here?’ I turned around and looked at the scoreboard and it was 2-1.”
It came at just the right time, too, for the 12th-seeded Eagles (12-4-3). Clinging to their 1-0 lead late in the second half, Broomfield gave up the equalizer to Fairview in the 71st minute. Raul Magno chipped a ball over the top to Casey Munsch, who became the first player in the tournament to score on Genge.
“I did feel that it was just a matter of time before Fairview imposed themselves on us a little bit,” Davidson said. “They did a great job of finding some space in the midfield in the second half and I think we got a little fatigued and they took advantage of that. But our guys stayed with the game.”
Eighth-seeded Fairview (13-6), riding a wave of momentum into extra time, definitely had the run of play for the first 10 minutes of overtime.
Alex Weseman had his shot saved by Genge and then a dangerous stroke by Andy Vaughn was deflected just inches wide of Genge’s far post.
“We needed something, obviously they had the momentum and it was just down there the whole game,” Hulst said. “It felt awesome, obviously it was the best goal I’ve scored in my life and this was the best game of my life.”
Broomfield had the Knights on their heels in the first half, especially during a 25-minute stretch that had the Eagles playing their patient possession game and striking when the opportunities presented themselves.
The Eagles were turned away in the 28th minute by Fairview defender Daniel Windsor, who cleared a ball of the line. Broomfield would get their goal just four minutes later, when Porter Milner, taking a direct free kick near the corner flag, hit Tyler Duggan and the junior headed home past Knights keeper Alex Ray.
“We wanted to impose ourselves and go get that second goal, but we kind of sat in,” Milner said. “But what a great strike by Tyler (Hulst). Jim always says good luck comes to those who work hard and I think we worked our (butts) off.”
Follow Jon on Twitter: twitter.com/JonEYunt
Broomfield 2, Fairview 1, OT
At Legacy Stadium
Broomfield (12-4-3) 1 0 1 — 2
Fairview (13-6) 0 1 0 — 1
Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Tyler Duggan (Porter Milner), 32nd minute; Fairview: Casey Munsch (Raul Magno), 71st; Broomfield: Tyler Hulst (unassisted), 93rd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Broomfield: Michael Genge (94-1-5); Fairview: Alex Ray (94-2-2).