BROOMFIELD -- Broomfield High School used two goals from Maddie Brady and two more from Reagan Kotschau to beat Brighton 8-0 in the opening round of the state 5A girls soccer tournament May 10.
But to listen to the Bulldogs' huddle afterward, you'd have never thought the game was so lopsided.
"I had nine seniors that I have coached for four years," said BHS coach Mike Day. "This is my first full class. I really worked hard to get a family mentality at Brighton High School. These girls are just amazing. And as you can see, they love each other. They were super-excited to end their careers with each other."
Day said the process to develop that mentality was tough.
"There was quite a bit of, I don't know what you want to call it, backstabbing, before I started taking over," Day said. "The culture was not great. It's something I've been intentional about in trying to fix."
Broomfield scored its first three goals in 18 minutes of play and kept Brighton from mounting much of an offense in the process.
"That's the one thing this senior group has struggled with," Day said. "We've had really great teams. Last year, we were in the top 16. But when it comes to playing against a really high-quality opponent, I tell them we need to play with a different intensity. That has been a concept they have not grasped."
Day said his team played with a bit more intensity in the second half against the Eagles.
"We were having opportunities," Day said. "We've been too nice. Maybe I've been too nice on them. My starting goalkeeper (Katie Powers) might have been my best player this year. She got thrown into a playoff game because of a red card her freshman year, and man, was she scared. I told the team not to pass it back to her because she was so bad with her feet. She has become one of the best players on our team.
"It's tough when you have two great goalies. Lu (Lu Freese, who played much of the second half against the Eagles) was in an unfortunate situation where Katie was a little bit better," Day added. "Lu had an amazing attitude. She could have been sour. She never was."
Brighton ended its season with a mark of 8-7-1. The Bulldogs and Broomfield will see more of each other in the coming years. The Bulldogs are joining the Front Range League when the next school year starts.
"I expect to be competitive," Day said. "We should learn to play against these kinds of teams so that we will be ready for this kind of moment.
Nine BHS players will graduate.
"My daughter (Leah Day, who had a goal and an assist this season) is graduating this year, and I've been asked lots of times if I'm going to keep coaching. I will. I love coaching these girls," Mike Day said.
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