Broomfield readies for Regis for 5A boys state soccer championship

Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer
BEST 1. PARKER, CO – Nov. 13, 2019: Broomfield High School’s Zane Jacobson, right, celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal during a semifinal boys CHSAA playoff game against Boulder on Wednesday in Parker. Broomfield won the game 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

PARKER — When it comes to boys’ soccer, the Broomfield Eagles (16-2-1) have long soared above everybody else.

Broomfield’s seven state titles are the most in the sport of any program in Colorado. And following a 2-1 overtime victory over rival Boulder on Wednesday night, the Eagles enter Friday night’s 5A state championship matchup with Regis looking to add No. 8.

After last year’s semifinal loss to Arapahoe in penalty kicks, this year’s Broomfield squad has developed resolve, notching penalty kick victories over No. 8 Fairview and top-ranked Legacy earlier in the postseason.

Wednesday’s semifinal with Boulder (15-4) was also knotted up, 1-1 after regulation, but Zane Jacobson’s golden goal in the first overtime period sealed Broomfield’s 11th state title game appearance. It marked another clutch postseason performance for the Eagles.

“I think that we just have belief,” Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said.  “We just have this great group of seniors; our leadership has been outstanding this season. I just think those guys… put us on their back. They’ve just done a great job of playing in very difficult situations and really having that concentration when it really matters.”

The Eagles have done it with a mix of players from different backgrounds, including Front Range Player of the Year and captain Gustavo Guttierez, the son of Mexican immigrants, and top-scorer Mawolo Easton, who immigrated himself from war-torn Liberia.

“What makes us different is the energy we bring and the passion we have,” said Gutierrez, who scored Broomfield’s opening goal against Boulder. “We came into the season with a lot of doubters, saying that we were too young of a team. That ticked us off and gave us a chip on our shoulders.”

The win over Boulder made it all the more enjoyable. Broomfield’s rivals defeated the Eagles during the regular season and in the state championship during Gutierrez’s freshman year.

“I’ve never beaten them in my four years here,” he said. “They’re a hell of a team. So yeah, it means a lot.”

Broomfield’s appearance in the state title game will mark the fifth in the past six seasons under Davidson, who’s led the program since 2009. He says that this year’s team is defined by the traits which lifted them in the three postseason games which weren’t decided in regulation.

“I think they deserve to be in the final because of the belief and courage that they have. They just have come together. Like some of our great teams that I’ve had in the past. So, they’re clearly one of my favorite teams that I’ve ever worked with. These are just really nice kids with great families and they work extremely hard. I think that good things happen to people who work hard and we’ve given ourselves a chance to play in a final.”