BROOMFIELD — Perhaps the only thing separating Broomfield from a win and another less-than-desirable outcome on Tuesday night was a deep, calming exhale from the lungs of Makena Bambei.
That’s what she was thinking, at least, when she lined up for a direct kick against the Boulder defense in overtime of their Front Range League game at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium — a shot the junior bent around a wall and into the back of the net to give her team a 2-1 victory over the Panthers.
Bambei had every need to relax herself after what happened just a few seconds earlier. During the run of play in what proved to be a entertaining game, a Boulder hand ball was whistled while Broomfield appeared to still have an advantage and thus disallowed a goal Bambei had scored following up on the play.
Fired up against the call — as was the entire Broomfield bench — Bambei re-focused for the foul kick from about 20 yards and snuck it under diving Boulder keeper Faviola Morquecho to send Broomfield to 10-1 overall and 7-1 in league.
“I really knew that I needed to get a good free kick so we could get the win after a bad call,” said Bambei, who scored earlier in the second half to help the Eagles overcome a 1-0 deficit. “I just kind of thought if we didn’t get it then, they could have got one. It should have been a goal and it ultimately could have cost us the game, but I’m glad I got that one in.”
After falling last week to Mountain Range for their first loss of the season, the Eagles were backed up against a corner again when Boulder’s Anna Boylan scored a hard-working goal in the 28th minute to give the Panthers (6-6-1, 4-5-1) a lead.
Broomfield had the lion’s share of chances throughout the first 40 minutes, but head coach Jim Davidson’s team found itself in the same situation as against the Mustangs.
Rather than let the negativity mount, Broomfield responded with some finishes.
“The game played a little like Mountain Range, where we had the run of play, and we gave up a bad chance and all the sudden found ourselves down,” Davidson said. “We didn’t have the legs the other night, but we found it in ourselves to equalize the game and then go win it.”
“We have this saying, we don’t lose twice in a row and we don’t lose at home,” added Bambei, who now has eight goals this season. “We had to have energy coming back for the second half, and a great crowd for us. We brought each other up and went and got that (tying goal).”
After missing out on a good opportunity to scramble and tie the contest in the 31st minute, Broomfield had another chance in the 46th minute that was more picture-perfect. Michaela Stark fed a right-footed cross from the left flank into the box where Bambei streaked past a defender, and Bambei deflected the ball to the corner in a single motion to get even.
Zoe Zinis, Bambei and Stark had more looks in the 58th and 59th minute — Zinis getting robbed by Morquecho off a corner kick — while Boulder countered with a good chance from Laura Greer in the 62nd minute that sailed over the bar.
Boulder lost four girls throughout the game to injury, but the Panthers still maintained a good line on defense that kept them in it.
“Clearly they had the ball a lot and a lot of chances on our goal, but their shots were the shots we wanted them to have,” Boulder coach Ryan Henkel said. “They were away from goal, and they were contested. We did a good job of that. We knew the second half was going to be a lot different, and when you start dropping players you lose some of that experience.
“We lost girls that we had put in our central attacking midfield, and when you lose that position your creativity starts to fall.”
Boulder had the first shot on goal in overtime, but Broomfield had a pair of shots on Morquecho (10 saves) prior to the winner. Bambei’s goal kept Broomfield in the thick of the league title hunt, while Boulder may have to win out to make the playoffs.
BROOMFIELD 2, BOULDER 1 (OT)
At Broomfield HS
Boulder 1 0 0 — 1
Broomfield 0 1 1 — 2
Goals (assists) — Boulder: Anna Boylan (unassisted), 28th minute; Broomfield: Makena Bambei (Michaela Stark assist), 46th minute; Broomfield: Bambei (unassisted), 87th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Boulder:Faviola Morquecho (86-2-10); Broomfield:Shannon Mooney (86-1-3).