BROOMFIELD – Michaela Stark had to admit it.
Even though the Broomfield girls soccer team’s pursuit of a fourth straight title-game appearance got off to a rousing start Tuesday night with a 5-0 home win against Chaparral, the Eagles most likely played on their home turf for the final time this season.
“It’s kind of sad that we have to go on the road, senior year and all,” said Stark after registering two first-half goals. “But I’m honestly not too worried about it. Once you reach a certain point in the playoffs, all the teams are going to be hard to beat.”
It’s not that Broomfield (13-2-1) is having a down year. It’s just that after years of being a top-flight seed, the Eagles landed No. 12 in a talented Class 5A field and will have to do the rest of their work away from home.
That will start Friday night at No. 5 Pine Creek, which defeated No. 28 Legend 8-1 in other first-round action.
“Our approach will be very similar,” Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said. “We have an idea this time of year of how we need to go about it and how we need to train. We’d absolutely love to have another home game, but we have senior experience and our girls know what it’s like to play under pressure and have to travel well.”
The Eagles, who finished state runner-up last year in their first season in 5A after twice doing so in 4A, dominated from the outset in this one. After peppering Chaparral keeper Lily Rawsley with several quality chances, Stark broke through 24 minutes in on a feed from Gia Lemley. Stark converted a penalty kick six minutes later.
Rawsley’s efforts kept No. 21 Chaparral (9-6) in striking distance at 2-0 at the half, but the Eagles added second-half tallies from Brooklynn Mooney, Hailey Stodden, Makena Bambei and Ashley Tuccio to transform it into a rout.
“It’s a great start to the playoffs,” Stark said. “I don’t think we were expecting that big of a win, but it was nice because were able to get some of our second-string players in. We just swung some players up from JV, so they got to see what it was like.”
Stark and Mooney will play at Wyoming next year, with Stark’s older sister, Brittney, transferring from the University of Colorado to join them as a junior.
For now, Broomfield will look to parlay the momentum from the opener into another prolonged playoff run.
“We were able to keep our kids healthy,” Davidson said. “We were able to give our first group a little run out there for about 15 minutes in the second half and they were able to get that third goal, which is great. We just went from there.”
Broomfield 6, Chaparral 0
Goals (assists) —
Broomfield: Michaela Stark (Gia Lemley), 24th minute; Stark (PK), 30th; Brooklynn Mooney (Makena Bambei), 42nd; Hailey Stodden (Jordan Goodwin), 48th; Bambei (Lemley), 53rd); Ashley Tuccio (Tessa Wagner), 78th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) —
Chaparral: Lily Rawnsley (59-5-10), Kari Blaszak (21-0-2); Broomfield: Shannon Mooney (56-0-0), Grace Fuller (24-0-2).