BROOMFIELD — Shortly after dismantling a very good Cherry Creek squad 5-0 Saturday evening in a Class 5A quarterfinal playoff game at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium, the Broomfield soccer team delivered a frightening message for the teams remaining in the postseason field:
The defending champion Eagles still haven’t played their best soccer.
“I think there’s still a lot of potential that we can reach,” said Porter Milner, a senior who directs much of the Broomfield attack on offense. “There’s definitely another step we can take, another level we can get to.”
The second-seeded Eagles (16-2) seemed to get better as the game against the No. 7 Bruins went on. Cherry Creek (12-5-1) came out of the chute with a well-organized attack, dominating the first 20 minutes of play.
The Bruins kept the ball on the Broomfield side of the pitch, and peppered Eagles keeper Michael Genge with shots and runs from every conceivable angle.
But Genge and his defensive mates in front of him — Tyler Duggan, Justin Hamm, Dalton Logan and Tyler Hulst — turned back everything that Cherry Creek threw at them.
“We knew coming in that they’re a very intense team,” said Genge, who made a couple of great saves on back-to-back shots in the 13th minute to keep the game scoreless. “That was the biggest thing we prepared for, that they just go and go and go. It’s hard to play teams like that because you have to match their energy, and I think we did that much better in the second half.”
Broomfield, meanwhile, struck twice in the first half on a pair of brilliant counter attacks.
The Eagles opened the scoring in the 14th minute after a great run by Armando Ocampo up the right side of the pitch. Ocampo sent a great pass from just outside the box to the front of the goal, where a diving Luke Cangilla was able to head it in past Cherry Creek keeper Garrett Brown.
Then, with under five minutes remaining in the half, a quick transition from defense to offense led to a Broomfield corner kick. Milner placed the set piece perfectly for Hamm, who headed it to the back of the net for a 2-0 cushion.
Then they blew by the Bruins in the second half. Riley Shea sent a laser from 22 yards that nestled in under the right top post in the 46th minute, and another great run from Ocampo led to a Cherry Creek own-goal with 14 minutes to play.
Hamm closed out the scoring in the 72nd minute, heading in a beautiful chip from Milner for the 5-0 lead.
Cherry Creek was never able to break through against the Eagles defense as Genge finished with six saves and is yet to give up a goal in the playoffs.
“It’s always the goal to stay clean through everything,” said Genge, who has only surrendered four goals all season. “We strive to defend from the forwards back.”
The Eagles will play No. 6 Heritage in Wednesday’s semifinals at Sports Authority Stadium in Parker. The teams played each other on Sept. 8, with Broomfield pulling out a 1-0 victory in overtime.
“They’re really good,” Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said of Heritage. “One of the best coached teams in the state.”
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Broomfield 5, Cherry Creek 0
At Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium
Cherry Creek (12-5-1)
Goals (assists) —
Broomfield: Luke Cangilla (Armando Ocampo) 14th minute; Justin Hamm (Porter Milner)35th minute; Riley Sheam, 46th minute; Cherry Creek own goal, 66th minute; Hamm (Milner) 72nd minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) —
Cherry Creek: Garrett Brown (80-5-6); Broomfield: Michael Genge (73-0-6), Jose Ogaz (7-0-0).