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Legacy High School's Gael Hernandez (No. ...
Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
Legacy High School’s Gael Hernandez (No. 10) takes a shot on goal in the game against Ralston Valley High School at North Stadium in Westminster on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021.

When asked about a potential rematch against Broomfield in the second round, Legacy forward Cooper Stephens embraced the idea.

“It’s always fun,” he said Wednesday, immediately following his team’s 1-0 win against Ralston Valley in the opening round of the Class 5A boys soccer state tournament. “Always fun to play a rival. They’re a good team and I think this is the year we can knock them out of the playoffs.”

As the No. 7 Lightning soaked in victory, 10th-ranked Broomfield staved off elimination some 45 minutes later at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium, rallying to beat Columbine, 2-1.

It sets up a third postseason meeting in four seasons for the Front Range League rivals.

“The reality is Legacy-Broomfield, in my opinion, is one of the biggest rivalries in the state,” Lightning coach Tony Romano said. “They’re two good teams, regardless of the year or what their ranking is. They all know each other. My guys are probably friends with their starting 11. They all know each other. They all grow up together. And every time we play it’s an exciting match.”

With a closer look, Legacy has beaten Broomfield in four straight regular-season meetings only to fall to the Eagles in the previous two playoffs. The last time came in 2019 as Jim Davidson’s team beat Romano’s in a shootout in the quarterfinals and went on to win the program’s eighth state title in boys soccer.

The anticipated rematch puts to bed a stellar opening to the high school soccer playoffs for local teams as 11 of the 14 area qualifiers advanced.

Moving on was all four area Front Range League teams — including No. 1 Boulder and defending champ No. 24 Fairview — as well as No. 6 Silver Creek in 5A.

No. 17 Holy Family, No. 18 Mead and No. 19 Niwot each won on the road in 4A, while No. 1 Jefferson Academy, No. 15 Peak to Peak and 27th-ranked Prospect Ridge advanced in 3A.

Here’s what the second round will look like for them:


No. 1 Boulder vs. No. 17 Fossil Ridge
Details: Tuesday, 7 p.m., at Christian Recht Field
Forecast: Cameron Gerber had a hat trick Wednesday as 10 players recorded a point in Boulder’s 8-0 opening-round win over No. 32 Hinkley. The test gets tougher with league-foe Fossil Ridge up next. The Panthers needed overtime to beat them in September. The Sabercats are coming off a shootout win over last year’s runner-up, Cherry Creek.
Difference-maker: Gerber. The junior midfielder has been on a tear of late, scoring six of his nine goals on the season over the past four games.

No. 6 Silver Creek vs. No. 11 Grandview
Details: Tuesday, 6 p.m., at Everly-Montgomery Field
Forecast: Silver Creek moved on to Round 2 as EJ Davis scored twice in its 3-1 win over Gateway Wednesday. The Raptors are now 16-0 on the season, yet should get one of their stiffer tests of the year against Grandview. The Aurora power hasn’t lost since the middle of September. It is coming off a double-overtime, Round-1 win over Regis Jesuit.
Difference-maker: Davis. The senior captain has been cooking with five goals over the last three games. In the nine games he’s scored in this season, six of them were multi-goal games.

No. 7 Legacy vs. No. 10 Broomfield
Details: Tuesday, 6 p.m., at North Stadium
Forecast: Beating Broomfield in the regular season is one thing. Ousting them in the postseason is something entirely different. Ask Columbine, which had a lead with less than 25 minutes remaining before the Eagles effectively responded with two quick goals to survive. Next up is Legacy, which beat Broomfield, 2-1, in September.
Difference-maker: For Legacy, Gael Hernandez has eight goals and five assists — but more than his stat line, the senior midfielder should be a central figure late when history says the game will still be in the balance. For Broomfield, freshman keeper Evan Kulstad has won his last seven decisions in net.

No. 24 Fairview vs. No. 8 Rock Canyon
Details: Tuesday, 6 p.m., at Shea Stadium
Forecast: You can’t help but feel for Liberty, which got the unwelcome fortune of having to face the defending champs in the No. 9-24 matchup. The Knights, who lost a lot from their state title team in the spring, proved that their championship moxie was still there in Round 1 as Layne Weeks scored late in the second half for the game-winner. Next up is Rock Canyon. It came into the postseason off a draw and a loss, but regrouped to beat the FRL’s Poudre 2-0 in Round 1.
Difference-maker: Jake Milanski. The senior midfielder has proven himself as one of the best in the state. He set up the winner in Wednesday’s upset over the Lancers.

No. 17 Holy Family vs. No. 1 Northfield
Details:  Wednesday, 6 p.m., at Northfield High School
Forecast: The Tigers scored two unanswered goals in the second half to beat George Washington in Round 1. On the road yet again, they’ll face a 16-0 Northfield team that has outscored teams by a combined 70 this season.
Difference-maker: Garrett Havens had both second-half goals for the Tigers against George Washington. If the Tigers want to nab a second straight upset — a monumental one at that — they’ll need plenty of contributions from their talented senior middies Havens and Jackson Ward.

No. 18 Mead vs. No. 2 Mullen
Details: Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., at Mullen Grass Field
Forecast: Josh Kurtz played the hero in the first round as Mead upended Fort Morgan on the road.  Neither the Mavs nor Mullen dropped a game in October.
Difference-maker: Kurtz. Beating higher-ranked teams on the road in October and November takes a certain kind of special. And Kurtz’s overtime winner proved he can be just that.

No. 19 Niwot vs. No. 3 The Classical Academy
Details: Wednesday, 6 p.m., at TCA Titan Stadium
Forecast: Azael Marrufo finished off a long-ball assist from Mason Wright 18 seconds into Niwot’s first-round game against Regis Groff, and the Cougars held on to beat the Fusion for a third straight time in the postseason. Now it’s on to TCA. The Titans are unbeaten at home this season and haven’t allowed a goal at their stadium in over six weeks.
Difference-maker: Wright. He called his long-boot helper lucky. But really it teetered more on some good fortune by a heads-up player. The senior will again be called on in the back and among one of the team leaders as the Cougars look to move into the quarterfinals.

No. 1 Jefferson Academy vs. No. 17 Fort Lupton
Details: Tuesday, 6 p.m., at Jefferson Academy
Forecast: Chyler Ward scored two of the Jaguars’ goals in a 3-0 win over Salida in the opening round. The top team in 3A has now outscored teams 72-5 this fall.
Difference-maker: JA keeper Andrew Bauer. As the talent rises in the postseason, odds are Bauer will get tested more and more the deeper the Jags go. Bauer has proven ready. He has 13 shutouts in 16 games this fall.

No. 15 Peak to Peak vs. No. 2 Atlas Preparatory School
Details: Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., at Atlas Prep Elementary School
Forecast: Jorden Gyaltsen and Ethan Wang scored twice as Peak to Peak blew out Pagosa Springs, 6-0, in the opening round. It was the Pumas’ first win in the postseason since 2017. Up next is Atlas Prep, which has won 15 straight since a season-opening loss to 4A Cheyenne Mountain.
Difference-maker: Gyaltsen is heating up as he now had two multi-goal games in October. He had just two goals prior.

No. 27 Prospect Ridge Academy vs. No. 11 Roaring Fork
Details: Tuesday, 5 p.m., at Carbondale Middle School
Forecast: Most of the opening round in the 3A bracket went to plan, foregoing Prospect Ridge’s stunning upset over No. 6 Coal Ridge. The Miners came into the postseason on a five-game losing streak but orchestrated a head-turning upset as Parker Brown’s first-half goal was enough to lift them into the second round.
Difference-maker: PRA keeper Cole McLemore. He was credited with 10 saves in the Miners’ Round 1 shutout. On 87 shots faced this season, he has an 80% success rate on saves.