LAKEWOOD — Someone forgot to tell Porter Milner that Wednesday night’s All-State game at Lakewood Memorial Field were merely an exhibition.
The Broomfield star played with all the intensity and fervor of a regular season Front Range League match-up with everything on the line.
Milner set up the North team’s first goal, scored the second on an assist from teammate Tyler Duggan, and even cleared a would-be goal out of harm’s way in the second half to preserve a 2-0 win for his team.
“The competitive juices are always flowing, especially when you play with this group of guys,” said Milner, who was vital to the Eagles’ Class 5A championship run last fall.
The game, sponsored by the Colorado High School Soccer Coaches Association, had a distinct Broomfield flavor about it. In addition to Milner and Duggan hooking up for the goal, goalie Michael Genge was brilliant in his 40 minutes.
The senior-to-be made eight saves, many of them of the spectacular variety.
“It was a lot of fun though,” said Genge, who split time with Colorado Academy keeper Noah Henry — who also made eight saves. “It was awesome to get out here and play at that level with all these really good kids.”
The North got on the board early and made it hold up. In the second minute, Milner played a perfect through-ball to Chatfield’s Ben Overholt (who will play next season at Colorado Mines) and he finished with ease past Centaurus goalie Ventura Dominguez.
Less than two minutes later Milner was on the receiving end of a ball from Duggan and he was able to beat Dominguez, who later in the half turned Milner away with a diving save.
“Just had a little opening on the inside, so I just shot it near post,” Milner said. “Goalie got a hand on it, but it hit the post and went in. A little fortunate, but I’ll take it.”
It left North co-coach Jim Davidson of Broomfield beaming with pride to see his players excel against some of the state’s best competition.
“It was fun to see the boys have a good time and make some new friends and play with guys that they normally play against,” Davidson said. “I think Porter picked up where he left off which is good for us. Michael had a couple of great saves and got real big there at the end.”
On the girls side, a combined seven players from the BoCoPreps.com area were on the rosters, six on the north and one on the south.
The game remained scoreless until the 56th minute, when Colorado Academy’s Marin McCoy, playing for the North, set up Steamboat Springs’ Natalie Bohlmann for the first of her two goals past Peak to Peak goalie Sarah Shepherd.
Davidson’s state runner-up girls team was well-represented in the 3-1 win for the North with Zoe Zinis and Michaela Stark, who set up Grandview’s Nicole Lyubenko for the North’s third goal.
Also in the game were Longmont keeper Grace Hamm, Legacy’s Kaylee Kennedy, Monarch’s Kristin Barbour and Centaurus’ Allison Ebersole.
Hamm, the recently graduated Longmont goalkeeper, received late notice that she would be a part of the game, but was thrilled when the call came.
“I’ve never got to do anything like this before,” she said. “So the whole thing was a real neat experience.”
Hamm played the first 40 minutes in what amounted to some of the heaviest rain of the day. With the weather wreaking havoc, the offenses were not as potent as they probably should have been in such a showcase. Hamm ended up making one save in her 40 minutes of work.
“I was kind of bummed, but at the same time pretty happy I didn’t get scored on,” said Hamm, who also got late notice from St. Louis University that she will have a chance to walk on and play Division I soccer.
There were several graduated seniors that declined the chance to play in the game on the chance that they might suffer an injury, but Hamm didn’t even think twice about the chance to play one more game in Colorado.
“I laid it right out there that I had torn my ACL before and showed (St. Louis) all the other accomplishments that I’ve had and they were intrigued and really wanted to see me play,” said Hamm, who will depart for St. Louis on Aug. 17. “I’m going to miss the preseason, because I kind of got in the game kind of late.”
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North 2, South 0
At Lakewood Memorial Field
North 2 0 — 2
Goals (assists) — North: Ben Overholt, Chatfield (Porter Milner, Broomfield), 2nd minute; North: Milner, Broomfield (Tyler Duggan, Broomfield), 4th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — North: Noah Henry, Colorado Academy (40-0-8), Michael Genge, Broomfield (40-0-8); South: Ventura Dominguez, Centaurus (40-2-3); Jack Jordan, Fort Collins (40-0-3).
North 3, South 1
At Lakewood Memorial Field
North 0 3 — 3
Goals (assists) — North: Natalie Bohlmann, Steamboat Springs (Marin McCoy, Colorado Academy), 56th minute; North: Bohlmann, Steamboat Springs (unassisted), 59th; North: Nicole Lyubenko, Grandview (Michaela Stark, Broomfield), 70th; South: Reece Hummel, Pine Creek (penalty kick), 71st.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — North: Grace Hamm, Longmont (40-0-1), Madison Lesjak, Grandview (40-1-5); South: Haley Arsenault, Lewis-Palmer (40-0-2), Sarah Shepherd, Peak to Peak (40-3-3).