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Girls soccer: Broomfield takes out Cherry Creek to head to 5A title game

Sophomore Reagan Kotschau nets game-winner for Eagles

ENGLEWOOD — It took just one swing of the leg to send Broomfield girls soccer back to the state title game.

Sophomore Reagan Kotschau got to play hero as the second-seeded Eagles soared past No. 3 Cherry Creek, 1-0, in the Class 5A semifinal matchup at Englewood High School on Wednesday night.

“I just remember Bella (Arreola) having the ball, right outside the right side of the 6(-yard line), being under a ton of pressure, finding a quick layoff to me and then kind of flicking it on with the inside of my foot,” Kotschau said. “It was a really good moment in the playoff games. Knowing that goal gets us to the finals really sets it up.”

Broomfield (12-0-1) will play in the finals for the first time since finishing Class 5A runner-up in 2018. This will be the Eagles’ fifth championship appearance since 2013.

From the moment the clock started, the Eagles and Bruins engaged in a physical and defensive battle, and any score could have spelled disaster for the unfortunate opponent. Fortunately for Broomfield, that ended in its favor.

Broomfield entered the game putting maximum pressure on Cherry Creek as the Eagles took advantage of the momentum early on. But as soon as the Eagles got close to the Bruins’ goal box, Cherry Creek’s ironclad defense would stop them right in their tracks.

That was nothing compared to Broomfield’s suffocating defense.

Throughout much of the first half, the Bruins didn’t see nearly as many looks that the Eagles did, though they got dangerously close to scoring on a few occasions. Midway through that frame, the Bruins took a long, high shot that bounced off the crossbar. Broomfield’s junior keeper Dylan Drennan wouldn’t allow anything else to pass by, even though that near-miss gave the Bruins a little more firepower.

Then the tides turned more in Cherry Creek’s favor.

Not long after that, the Bruins drew Drennan out of the goal box and, with the awkward bounce, the ball tracked behind her. With a Cherry Creek player hot on her trail, she shut the Bruin offense down once again and stole a golden opportunity from them.

Late in the second half, Drennan saved the Eagles again when she reached up to swat a well-placed corner kick away from the net.

“We really played our hardest,” Drennan said. “I knew I had to do my job to keep our team in the game and that Wednesday was just my time to shine and show my team what I can do and trust me. These are the days I live for.”

Ever the momentum-busters, Broomfield broke through the veil first. In the 35th minute, Kotschau took advantage of the chaos that ensued around her and launched her shot from 15 yards out. The slow kick snuck right past Cherry Creek keeper Gabby Sabatier.

The Eagle defense stayed firm throughout the remainder of the game and showed no signs of weakness.

With the semifinals in their rearview mirror and the state title game on the road ahead, the Eagles will now prepare to take on the winner of No. 4 Rock Canyon and No. 1 Valor Christian, which played Wednesday night at Englewood.

The Eagles have just one state title to their names currently, and it’s a feat they haven’t achieved since 2006. They’ll look to change that at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Weidner Field in Colorado Springs.

“(The defense) just did an incredible job keeping the play in front of us the whole game and with a lot of courage without Taryn Rea — one of our starting center backs — out (at a club tournament),” head coach Jim Davidson said. “We had to move some players around and I thought our defensive line and Dylan just played with a ton of courage. I think it’s just the mentality we tried to preach with next player up, next play mentality.”

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