FORT COLLINS — It was everything a Top 5 matchup was supposed to be.
An ultra talented and huge defensive side for the No. 2 Rocky Mountain Lobos — anchored by goalie Gabby McDonald — against one of the most formidable attacks in the state in the No. 3 Broomfield Eagles, led by Hailey Stodden.
For 80 minutes of regulation both sides showed off their strengths, going toe-to-toe in a physical match with the winner in the drivers seat for the Front Range League crown.
It wasn’t until overtime that the Eagles finally broke through on a brilliant strike from sophomore Mallory Mooney that beat McDonald to her far post to secure a 1-0 victory and the top spot in the FRL.
“I saw that (McDonald) was closer to the near post and I saw the back post open,” said Mooney after her game-winner (her 12th goal of the season). “I had the space, I knew I had to take the shot.
“We knew their defenders were really big and their goalie was really good and we knew if we were going to score that it was going to have to be on the ground.”
The win improves Broomfield to 10-0-1 overall and 9-0-1 in the Front Range. The Eagles, who entered No. 8 in the Class 5A RPI, have Pine Creek on Saturday and then close out the final week of the regular season with Fort Collins, Legacy and Cherry Creek.
“That’s a big result for us and I really thought to get out of this game with a tie would have been a positive result,” Eagles coach Jim Davidson said. “So for Mal to take that chance beautifully is really exciting for us moving forward.
“We were really pushed tonight by their pace and athleticism and we will have to recover quick for Pine Creek (in Colorado Springs) on Saturday.”
Stodden gave the Lobos defense all they could handle on Thursday night and the best opportunity of regulation saw the University of Utah recruit and the Colorado State recruit (McDonald) at their absolute best.
In the 25th minute, Stodden unleashed a rocket high to McDonald’s near post and she went high to her right to make the save.
The unsung heroes of the night were the Broomfield defenders — notably right back Daisia Knowles — who had their hands full against Savannah Warner (Wyoming) and Madison Williams (Cal Poly).
The best chance either one of them got was Warner’s direct free kick from 22 yards out that said just wide of Grace Fuller’s post.
“We were trying to stay back a little bit because we knew their players were fast, so our outside were really trying to force that pressure on the outside,” Knowles said. “I think we did pretty well. There is a lot of trust and we work well together back there.”
Said Davidson of Knowles: “Daisia has been a pillar of consistency. She has been awesome at right back all season and embraced the opportunity. She’s a great athlete and has this fantastic toughness and mentality about her.”
Fuller was good when she needed to be, but was never really thoroughly challenged in making her six saves.
BROOMFIELD 1, ROCKY MOUNTAIN 0, OT
At French Field
Broomfield (10-0-1, 9-0-1)001—1Rocky Mtn. (11-1-1, 9-1)000—0
Goal (assist) — Broomfield: Mallory Mooney (unassisted), 89th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Broomfield: Grace Fuller (89-0-6); Rocky Mountain: Gabby McDonald (89-0-8).