A long way to the top: No. 2 Fossil defeats No. 1 Broomfield


Dylan Heinrich

Sophomore Cata Baker walking up during her team introductions.

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Editor

It’s a rare occurrence for the top two teams to face off before the playoffs. The accompanying crowd was in for such a treat, as the No. 2 Fossil Ridge girls soccer team beat No. 1 Broomfield High School 3-1 to win the Front Range League Championship.

However, this week started rough for the Sabercats, as they lost their first game against No. 4 Legacy 4-3. After snagging a 2-1 lead, Legacy outscored Fossil 3-1 down the stretch to end their bid at a perfect season.

But Fossil gained their chance at redemption in a winner-take-all for the league championship against top-ranked Broomfield.

The Sabercats wasted no time, as freshman Lily Wale scored off a corner kick less than five minutes into the match. The Broomfield Eagles were ready with a response not even a minute after.

With things tied again, a change would be needed for Fossil. That change would be revealed as sophomore Abby Ballek entered the pitch for the first time. Ballek was poised for a major breakout year, but has been limited for the past month with an ankle injury. 

Ballek has continued to fight through, including scoring the deciding goal late in the first half.

“I try and help out as much as I can,” Ballek said. 

Ballek celebrating with her team after the game-winning goal. (Dylan Heinrich)

The team was able to use that extra momentum from Ballek to take complete control of this game during the second half. That control included another goal from Amy Smith after a plethora of nifty moves to weave through the Broomfield defense. 

Even without Ballek, one of their most prolific goal scorers, the Sabercats have built a strong case for the best team in the state.

“This team has been really good at stepping up,” Ballek said. “We all came together this season, and I think we’ll go far.”

When comparing this monumental win to their loss earlier this week, coach Kim Whisenant implied the importance of keeping it simple.

“We let our nerves get the best of us, thinking we had a target on our backs,” Whisenant said. “Today it was who wanted it more and who fought the hardest, and I think our girls were phenomenal.”

With this win, Fossil Ridge will enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the 5A division, with their first game next Tuesday, May 9, at home against Monarch.

Sophomore Amelia Larson celebrating after the match. (Dylan Heinrich)