BROOMFIELD — Considering the defensive units of both the Boulder and Broomfield boys soccer teams, opposing offenses are like artists hoping for a masterpiece while working with a paint-by-numbers canvas.
The lines are already pretty much drawn, creativity is often neutralized, and a stroke of luck is about the only thing that tips the scales.
For Broomfield on Tuesday night at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium, an earned bounce on what could have been an avoided scramble gave the Eagles a 1-0 win over Boulder and a chance to keep pace with surprising Monarch atop the Front Range League.
Riley Shea scored with just 9 minutes remaining after a diagonal cross was played by a Panthers defender into a bunch of bodies, and the Eagles (No. 1 in the latest CHSAANow.com rankings) added salt in the wound of Boulder in a rematch of last season’s Class 5A title game.
“This is a game that’s dominated by a lot of tactical players, so it’s just good soccer,” said Broomfield head coach Jim Davidson, whose team moved to 9-1 overall. “It’s always going to be tight, and you might need a little luck.
“I thought our guys did a good job of growing into the game.”
There just wasn’t much opportunity to get clean shots for either team on Tuesday night as defensive mindfulness simply ruled the evening.
But in the 71st minute, Broomfield’s Cody Ewing was able to get a dangerous ball in from near the Eagles bench, and before goalie Djibril Dolumbia could snatch it, one of his teammates played it off his body. Shea settled in no time to plant the ball in the far corner.
“I know they were looking for revenge from last year, so it was big for us to get one for our fans,” said Shea, a junior. “The first half was difficult as we were both trying to settle into the game, but we found our play and were crossing the (midfield) line a lot more. You just have to get it around the goal and make something happen.”
“You want to trust your goalie in that situation, but I can’t blame the defense for wanting to make a play,” added Boulder coach Hardy Kalisher. “That was a ‘working hard’ error, when two guys collide. We’ll talk of how to clean that up.”
Both teams had double-digit shots, but Broomfield had six on frame to Boulder’s three. The Panthers appeared to have scored in the 16th minute with a Sam Kirk goal, but he was ruled offsides.
Besides agreeing the game was fantastic, both Davidson and Kalisher said the FRL title race is just getting going. Boulder, ranked third in 5A, is still in it at 8-2 overall and 4-2 in league.
“There are still so many pitfalls along the way,” Davidson said. “You can’t take any game for granted in this league.”
Broomfield 1, Boulder 0
At Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium
Boulder (8-2, 4-2)
Broomfield (9-1, 5-1)
Goals (assists) —
Broomfield: Riley Shea (Cody Ewing assist), 72nd minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) —
Boulder: Djibril Dolumbia (80-1-5); Broomfield: Michael Genge (80-0-3).