BROOMFIELD — When the season is over and the Broomfield Eagles have a chance to sit back and reflect about their season, they will likely point to this three-game stretch that ultimately defined them.
Since suffering its first loss of the season to Mountain Range, Broomfield has played back-to-back overtime games and found a way to win them both.
On Thursday night at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium, the Eagles and goalkeeper Shannon Mooney survived a second half onslaught from Morgan Abbitt and the Rocky Mountain Lobos, then capitalized on their chance in the offensive third.
Jordan Goodwin threaded a beautiful ball to Michaela Stark, who had a half step on her defender and beat Lobos goalie Gabby McDonald in the 87th minute for a 1-0 overtime victory.
“I just saw Michaela Stark making a great run across and I was just looking to find that through ball into her,” said Goodwin about her third assist of the season. “She had a great finish.”
With the win over Rocky Mountain, the ninth-ranked team in the latest CHSAANow.com poll, sixth-ranked Broomfield (11-1, 8-1) is now a game clear atop the Front Range League. It doesn’t get any easier for the Eagles on Saturday against Monarch. The Coyotes are 6-1-1 in the FRL after their 2-0 victory against Poudre on Thursday.
After a scoreless first half in which the Eagles maintained a majority of the possession, Rocky Mountain turned the tables in the second half and put Mooney to work.
Less than five minutes in, Abbitt — who will play her college soccer next fall at Bowling Green University — made Mooney stretch to her left and make her first save of the night.
Just over a minute later, Abbitt had her sights set just inside the near post, and Mooney was again up to the challenge. This time she was fully stretched out to her right to force the ball across the end line.
“I just set my feet and did everything I was taught,” said Mooney, who finished with six saves, all in the final 47 minutes of the match. “You just have to relax and prepare for the shot.”
Broomfield had a few second half chances, but as good as Mooney was, so too was McDonald. Midway through the half, Stark had the Lobos keeper way outside of her goal and from a tough angle tried to sneak a ball under the bar on the far post, but she missed just wide.
In the 74th minute, Stark sent McDonald sprawling to her right to corral yet another shot.
The rest of the match belonged to Mooney.
“I think if it is not for Shannon tonight, we have a hard time surviving. We were under a lot of pressure in the last 15 minutes and the first part of overtime,” said Broomfield coach Jim Davidson, who watched the center official stop play and threaten the Eagles student section to the parking lot after the voiced their opinion on a call. “Back-to-back game, I think we are a little battle weary and a bit fatigued emotionally and physically.”
On her final save of regulation, Mooney held her line on Rocky Mountain’s Stephanie Muchow, who had created space and was one-on-one with Mooney. A shot and a quick left hand punch reflex cleared the danger.
In overtime, Lobos freshman Madison Williams’ shot was initially saved by Mooney, but not held on to and trickled towards the net. Mooney recovered in time.
“It got pretty intense as the game went on and I had to deal with that,” Mooney said.
The goal came against the run of play and Goodwin, who had two defenders around her, was able to make the play to Stark, who joined Tuesday’s Boulder hero — Makena Bambei — with her team-leading eighth goal of the season.
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Broomfield 1, Rocky Mountain 0 (OT)
At Broomfield HS
Rocky Mountain (9-2-1, 7-2-1) 0 0 0 — 0
Broomfield (11-1, 8-1) 0 0 1 — 1
Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Michaela Stark (Jordan Goodwin), 87th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Rocky Mountain: Gabby McDonald (87-1-5); Broomfield: Shannon Mooney (87-0-6).