This game could’ve lasted forever.
In a grueling match fueled by familiarity, Class 5A No. 9-seed Broomfield prevailed over top-seed Legacy 5-4 on penalty kicks in a state quarterfinal matchup on Saturday in Westminster. With the score 0-0 at the end of the second overtime period, Broomfield sophomore Evan Judd netted the clinching shot that will send the Eagles to yet another semifinal appearance for the program.
On a warm, cloudless afternoon at North Stadium, the higher-seeded Legacy was afforded no home-field advantage as Broomfield support showed up in equal strength. A lively Eagles student section popped a few ceremonious confetti cannons before play began, which turned out to be a highlight of a tedious affair.
“I think both teams played with a bit of emotional fatigue today,” Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said. “You could see it in the mentality of the players, and a little bit in the legs.”
The Eagles took the opening kickoff in a stalemate of a first half. The second half was much of the same, save a sending off of Legacy senior Jakob Maurek that left the Lightning a man down with 29 minutes left.
Legacy kept men back on defense, thwarting an aggressive push by Broomfield, leaving regulation goalless and relatively uneventful.
“I’m very proud of my guys for keeping their heads,” Legacy head coach Tony Romano said. “Twenty-nine minutes is a lot of soccer to play minus one player at this level.”
Overtime came in to change the game’s stagnant dynamic. The teams traded real scoring opportunities, but to no avail, hitting crossbars and side netting galore. Following a final furious effort by the Broomfield attack, time expired on the formality of overtime bringing the two sides to the destined lottery of a shootout.
Broomfield held the winning ticket, with Judd striking it past a diving Legacy goalkeeper Brandon Hansen in goal.
“I’ve known some of the [Broomfield players] since I was 8 years old,” Judd said after his clutch moment. “They are a great team over there. I’m glad I got to send our boys through.”
Reserve goalkeeper Greg Squire, a senior, subbed in for the Eagles during the shootout and provided two critical saves to push his side through.
“When you see how hard the team worked all game, you owe them your best when your number’s called,” Squire said.
Winning their last two playoff games in identical, exhausting fashion, Davidson said his team will relish the emotional intermission afforded them before their semifinal matchup against Boulder next week. It will be Broomfield’s sixth straight year in the 5A semifinals.
For Legacy, the devastating loss ends the most successful season in school history — a point which, while muted for the time being, is not lost on Romano.
“We set school record after school record this year.” Romano said. “It’s hard to look back on this season as anything but a massive success. Right now, it stings.”