DENVER — Broomfield’s quest to win back-to-back Class 5A girls soccer state titles is alive after a dramatic 2-1 overtime victory against Columbine on May 19 at Ciber Field at the University of Denver campus.
The Eagles were scheduled to go for the repeat against Grandview at 8 p.m. May 25 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
It didn’t look promising for the defending Class 5A state champions with 5 minutes to play in the first semifinal Thursday night at DU.
Broomfield trailed Columbine 1-0 after junior Riley Kaali-Nagy scored in the 69th minute on a rocket shot to break the scoreless tie. It looked like the Rebels (14-4-1 record) would be heading to back the 5A state championship game for the first time since winning the program’s first state title back in 2014.
“It was really tough,” Broomfield junior Michaela McGowan said of the Eagles down late. “We stepped up to the plate and did it.”
Broomfield junior Nicky Choren evened up the match with a header off a corner kick with 3 minutes remaining in regulation time to tie things up 1-1.
“I thought we were doing a good job managing the game,” Columbine coach Brian Todd said. “A free service into your box anything can happen. We left one of their taller players (Choren) a little free.”
The Eagles had the momentum going into overtime and ended it in the 86th minute. McGowan had some space down the line and then charged toward Columbine junior goalie Adelyn Todd.
“We needed the goal,” McGowan said of her run before she slipped a pass to sophomore Kayla Loughrey. “Sure enough Kayla was there to finish it. It was beautiful. I’m super thrilled that we are going to the finals.”
The Rebels’ goalie had to come out on McGowan and that left a wide-open net on the far side for Loughrey, who didn’t hesitate knocking in the game-winning goal.
“Credit to Broomfield,” Coach Todd said. “They found the two moments they needed to win the game.”
Loughrey admitted the Eagles were “a little scared” being down late, but the goal by Choren gave Broomfield the momentum heading into overtime.
“Going to the finals. It’s great,” Loughrey said.
Broomfield improved to 16-2 on the season. The Eagles are trying to repeat as state champions and showed their experience late against Columbine.
“Only four teams get to play today,” said Todd, who coached the Rebels to the 5A girls soccer state title back in 2014. “You take pride that you put together a pretty great season. I think we represented Columbine really well. These girls have been a blast to coach.”
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.