Eagles grounded; Huskies make ﬁnal
PARKER – With 10 seconds to go, Huskies coach David Cope took off his jacket and raised his arms in triumph.
And then there were two.
Battle Mountain soccer danced to a 2-1 win against Broomfield on Wednesday night at Sports Authority Stadium in Parker, in its maiden voyage to the state semifinals. The Huskies return to the Front Range for the 4A state final against Palmer Ridge, the No. 1-ranked team in the state and 5-0 winners over Mullen, for the first of two games here at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
“I am so happy,” said Roberto Diaz, who had the game-winner in the second half. “It’s amazing. First time ever.”
“This is pretty sweet,” Cope said. “The first thing that has to be mentioned is the fans. They made it a home game again. When there’s five minutes left and the guys are digging deep for the last bit of fitness and think about why you’re playing, and there are hundreds of kids in the stands, it’s just tremendous.
“The boys showed heart. We’ve got some depth and some determination. I think we’ve got a little bit of quality, too.”
Yes, they do. And it doesn’t hurt if Casey Cope eats a Krispy Kreme before the game. That may be a little over the top, but go with it. The Huskies are a stunning 19-0.
“I don’t care that I got a goal,” said Heivan Garcia, who indeed scored the first of the match. “We worked so hard to go to the finals. As long as we won, it doesn’t matter.”
As bright as the lights are and as big as the stage is at the 4A Final Four, the Huskies kept it simple. They used the width of the pitch – a healthy 78 yards here; it’s 80 back in Edwards – to play their game. Alex Trujillo worked it to the left side of the endline and cut for the Broomfield goal. The junior timed his pass perfectly. Garcia ran through the box and one-timed the feed, crushing it into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.
Broomfield did have a golden chance earlier in the half. The Eagles clanked one off the left post and missed the the ensuing open net.
The Eagles finally cracked the seal during the 46th minute on a long throw-in, which Broomfield senior Clay Fiscus dumped into the back of the net.
Though Huskies keeper Christian Espinoza probably wanted that save opportunity back, he made a brilliant save on Broomfield’s Connor Metzger just minutes later. That proved to be a momentum shift.
“We had to keep our cool,” Garcia said. “We’ve come back twice in the playoffs. We knew it wasn’t over.”
Nope. Diaz struck in the 53rd on a corner kick from David Suarez.
“We played as a team,” Diaz said. “We did it.”
And all this greatly pleased Battle Mountain’s faithful. Though Sports Authority Stadium in Parker is a neutral site, the trip here was a lot easier for Eagles fans. Nonetheless, Huskies fans outnumbered their Broomfield counterparts in size and voice in a showing reminiscent of last week’s quarterfinals in Evergreen.
“We travel like Notre Dame,” Cope joked before the game.