Broomfield, Boulder advance to 5A soccer state… – The Denver Post

AURORA — Broomfield and Boulder are headed to the Class 5A boys soccer state championship, as the Eagles beat Denver East 2-1 and the Panthers beat Fossil Ridge 3-1 in semifinal games Wednesday night at Legacy Stadium.

In the first match, senior Sam Carson’s goal at the 20:20 mark of the first half gave No. 1 Denver East (18-1) momentum and the lead heading into halftime. But No. 4 Broomfield (16-2-1) came to play with a different intensity in the second. Less than 15 minutes into the half junior Michael Mooney and senior Jeff Robisch each found the net within 90 seconds of each other, giving the two-time defending 5A champions a lead they did not relinquish.

“We lacked some energy in the first half, and we were having trouble getting in tune with the game,” Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said. “We just had to sharpen up our decisionmaking and decide that we were going to be in the match, and our senior leadership gave us the energy to do well in that second half.”

In the second match, No. 2 Boulder (19-0) kept its dream of a perfect season alive thanks to two goals from sophomore Omar Castruita and another from senior Simon Julien to topple the Cinderella-esque Sabercats (8-10), who entered the tournament seeded 30th and had previously upset No. 3 Cherry Creek, No. 14 Lincoln and No. 6 Arapahoe.

The Panthers brought their typical up-tempo, pressurized style of play from the opening whistle, and were finally able to break through the sturdy Fossil Ridge defense on Julien’s nice finish with 1:49 to play in the first half. The goal gave the heavily-favored Panthers room to breathe after several close scoring opportunities by the Sabercats, who went punch for punch with Boulder in a fast-paced second half before Castruita’s two scores put the game out of reach.

Saturday’s title tilt is at 3:30 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and will be a showdown between two Front Range League foes that played each other for the league championship Oct. 20. The Panthers came away with a 2-1 victory over Broomfield in that match, and the championship promises to be more of the same between the two powerhouse programs.

“The depth of the Front Range League is just incredible. Night in and night out, it’s always on in that league and it’s really prepared us for the championship match,” Davidson said. “Saturday will be our biggest test. Boulder, I think, is widely believed to be the best team in the state and they’re a very cohesive unit that plays great soccer.”

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