Cougars make most of their opportunities

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Evergreen headed back to semifinals after upset of Broomfield

By Michael Hicks

BROOMFIELD — Right place, right time.
The Evergreen Cougars made it a habit to back up most, if not every, shot they took on goal against No. 2 seed Broomfield. The results were rebound goals by Cole Mitchek and Borja Garcia as part of Evergreen’s 4-0 upset of the host Eagles in the 4A boys soccer state quarterfinals on Nov. 2.

The win sends the seventh-seeded Cougars (15-2-1) to the state semifinals for the third time in four years on Nov. 6 at Sports Authority Stadium in Parker against third-seeded Cheyenne Mountain, a 3-1 winner over Centaurus. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
“We’re very technical. We wore them down in terms of possession. We had a great counterattack with a lot of speed and a lot of technological players,” Evergreen head coach Peter Jeans said. “We had quality chances that no goalkeeper is going to get.
“We buried our chances for the second game in a row, chances to finish. When you finish them, the game gets really easy.”
Mitchek opened the scoring in the 27th minute after his rebound of a Garcia attempt found the back of the net. That’s where things stood until Griffin Dorsey scored his fourth goal of the playoffs after a give-and-go assist from Collin Molleur in the 49th minute. Garcia added back-to-back goals in the 65th and 72nd minutes to send a raucous Evergreen crowd, which traveled for the game, home happy.
“I went in there, and that exact thing happened. I rebounded it, and it went into the net. After that we knew that the goalie didn’t have great hands. So we knew that the best way to score against this team was to go after the ball after the goalie is going for a save,” Mitchek said.
Broomfield goalkeeper Michael Genge finished with six saves. The Eagles finished the season 13-3-2. The defense did the rest. Evergreen was well aware of Broomfield’s throw-in and corner-kick abilities, but the Cougars had their bases covered at every turn.
Goalkeeper Matt Hornbecker had eight saves as the Cougars scored their second straight 4-0 shutout of the playoffs.
“After the first game with Windsor, we made it a point to make sure that we gave up no more goals the rest of the season,” Hornbecker said. “The offense really stepped up, too. That’s a great job to score four goals.”
It would be easy for Evergreen to get carried away with emotions after avenging its penalty-kick loss to the Eagles in the 2010 state semifinals, but the Cougars know there is more work ahead.
“We’re focused right now on the next game, the next opponent,” Mitchek said. “We beat them, then we go to the finals.”

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.