BROOMFIELD — It’s the playoffs — it is not supposed to be easy.
For the Broomfield Eagles, who were coming off arguably their toughest week of the season — one that resulted in them playing three matches in four days to wrap up the Front Range league title — Tuesday’s opening round Class 5A match against Chatfield wasn’t necessarily a thing of beauty.
“That Thursday (against Legacy) and Friday (at Fossil Ridge) just crushed us and you could see that there was still a little fatigue in our legs,” said Broomfield coach Jim Davidson, whose team won 3-1 at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium to advance to Round 2 against Columbine.
“There was some fatigue in our play both emotionally and physically, so we are going to have to recover quickly here.”
Eighth-seeded Broomfield (13-2-1) will hit the reset button and have two days to get ready for the Jefferson County League champion and strangely the No. 9 seeded Rebels, who eliminated Fort Collins 3-0 on Tuesday.
Broomfield looked as though they might run away and hide early on in the match. The Eagles controlled the possession in the opening minutes and it led directly to their first goal.
Ashley Tuccio connected with Hailey Stodden — she of the four goals against Legacy — and the junior finished with ease past Chargers freshman keeper Abby Wilkinson.
It would stay that way for the next 45 minutes of game time, despite the best efforts of the Eagles, including Tuccio, who banged a shot off the underside of the woodwork in the 25th minute.
“She’s been a little unlucky all season,” said Davidson of Tuccio, “And she is finding her form at the right time.”
Said Tuccio, of her teams first half play: “I think the intent was there, but sometimes the execution wasn’t as well as we intended.”
Chatfield (9-7), who had hung around games all season — suffering four one-goal defeats — would equalize in the 38th minute. Sina George would get on the end of a lengthy Emma Peterson free kick and beat Grace Fuller with a brilliant header.
“We talked about at halftime how important that next goal would be and when they got it I think we were shocked,” Tuccio said. “But we were able to motivate ourselves and say this wasn’t going to be the end.”
In the 57th, Tuccio appeared to have drawn a penalty when she was taken down by Wilkinson in the box, but much to the dismay of the Eagles faithful and their bench, nothing was called.
Karma came eight minutes later. A strong run into the 18-yard box by Stodden resulted in her being taken down by Chargers senior captain Ellie Bohan and the penalty kick was awarded this time. Stodden did the honors, beating Wilkinson low to her right side.
“Hailey has been great all season and she has put us on her back a lot,” Davidson said. “And that was an important one, when she earned the penalty and maybe we got owed one.”
Gia Lemley would add an insurance goal in the 76th minute on an assist from Emily Galvin.
BROOMFIELD 3, CHATFIELD 1
Chatfield (9-7)01—1Broomfield (13-2-1)12—3
Goals (assists) — Broomfield: Hailey Stodden (Ashley Tuccio), 3rd minute; Chatfield: Sina George (Emma Peterson), 48th; Broomfield: Stodden (penalty kick), 65th; Gia Lemley (Emily Galvin), 76th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Chatfield: Abby Wilkinson (80-3-7); Broomfield: Grace Fuller (80-1-7).