BOULDER —The Broomfield-Fairview, winner-take-league, regular-season finale had a bit of everything Saturday afternoon — from bodies plunging to the ground, to a brief scoreboard outage, to an unforgiving crossbar, to a fiery gallery on the edge of every twist and turn of momentum.
And in the middle of it, Broomfield’s Mallory Mooney played up to her star reputation.
Mooney hit the net three times — two of them counted — and the Eagles beat the Knights 3-2 to win the 5A Front Range League for a third straight year.
“You expect your best players to be at their best in the biggest moments,” Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said. “I thought Mal did a great job putting us on her back today.”
A whistle disallowed what looked to be Mooney’s second goal of the afternoon in the 60th minute but she responded moments later with magnificent 40-yard chance off a set play that sailed high above before gently crackling down the net to make it 3-1.
Fairview closed within one on Adriane Mason’s goal in the 77th, yet despite a forceful push in the final minutes the tying goal never arrived. To add to their oh-so close rally, the Knights clanged pretty much the same spot on the crossbar twice in the second half.
“This sets the table well going into the playoffs,” Fairview first-year coach Steve Griggs said. “It’s a perfect game for us to play a top team like Broomfield. It exposed a couple things we’re going to work on and just make us better for the playoff run.”
The Knights hadn’t allowed a goal for 12 halves of play until Mooney’s strike in the 14th. The junior took a lead pass from Nikki Oelker and split two defenders in the middle of the field before beating Hayden Velds just inside the box.
According to MaxPreps, Mooney ends the regular season as the league’s top scorer with 21 goals followed by Fairview’s Georgia Weeks with 14.
“We knew we had to win (Saturday),” Mooney said. “We all just played for each other and it feels really good going into the playoffs on a good streak.”
Oelker added to the lead in the 50th minute.
A long kick from Broomfield’s backline sent a bouncing ball towards Velds, who charged outside the box. Incoming, Oelker outran two defenders and met the ball first, flicking a chance over Velds’ head before it bounced a few more times and crept just past the goal line.
A minute later, Knights sophomore Blythe Sales trimmed the deficit on a shot so ferocious it slammed off Broomfield keeper Morgan Friday’s outstretched fingers and stung the top corner of the net.
In the end, Broomfield (14-1, 10-1 5A FRL) most likely secured the top seed in the Class 5A postseason with the victory. Davidson’s team was tied with Grandview atop the rankings coming into the day with the Wolves already done with their regular season.
The Eagles were expected by many to take a step back after graduating what Davidson called “possibly the most-heralded senior class” in program history.
“If you were going to tell us that we were going to be 14-1 and league champions with this team after what we graduated last year, I would have told you you’re crazy,” Davidson said. “I’m really pleased at how well the girls have been handling themselves. This was a great game. Fairview is an outstanding team.”
The Knights (11-3-1, 8-2-1), meanwhile, entered the final day of the regular season as perhaps the most dominant team in the state over the past 2 1/2 weeks, winning six straight by a combined 29-0 margin — a streak that included a 2-0 win over No. 5 Cherry Creek April 20.
Ranked No. 7 coming into the day, they should secure home field for at least two rounds.
Girls soccer playoff brackets are expected to be released Monday by CHSAA.
Broomfield 3, Fairview 2
At Fairview HS
BROOMFIELD (14-1, 10-1) 1 2 — 3
FAIRVIEW (11-3-1, 8-2-1) 0 2 — 2
Goals (assists) —Broomfield: Mooney (Oelker) 14th minute, Oelker (unassisted) 50th, Mooney (Stock) 63rd. Fairview: Sales (unassisted) 51st, Mason (Berdan) 77th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Broomfield: Friday (80-2-10); Fairview: Velds (80-3-6).