Class 5A girls soccer: Naomi Clark’s hat trick gives Grandview sixth title, fifth since 2015 with win over Broomfield

COMMERCE CITY — In the blink of an eye, Naomi Clark took over the Class 5A girls soccer state championship game.

That’s what elite finishers do.

Bring out the sewing needle again. Grandview will stitch a sixth state title star into the team’s jersey for next year.

The Grandview junior scored two emphatic goals in 90 seconds, her 18th and 19th of the season, and scored her 20th in the closing minutes to notch a hat trick and push the Wolves to their sixth title in program history and fifth since 2015 with a 3-1 win over Broomfield on Wednesday night.

“Honestly I just knew I had to, or one of us had to score if we were to go home state champions,” said Clark, who estimated the real tally is over 30 goals if you include her club team in 2021-22.

“I just go out there, I calm down and the ball gets to my feet, and try to finish the best as I can … I’m dreaming right now. I never knew it would happen until it did.”

Grandview (17-1-2) came out firing to start the second half. The Wolves’ scoring started in the 45th minute as Clark received a pass from Meg Gonzalez. After taking a few touches, she slotted it low and past a diving keeper to tie the score at 1-1.

Just 90 seconds later, she sent Dick’s Sporting Goods Park into a frenzy. She scored a screamer from beyond the 18-yard box as she dribbled past two defenders and struck a shot that flew into the top right corner of the net to give the Wolves a 2-1 lead. She then put the closing touches on the game with 1:25 to go with a goal in the top right corner — a title-clinching hat trick.

Broomfield (16-2) was looking to repeat as 5A champions after taking the title in 2021, and got off to a good start in its return to DSGP. In the 32nd minute, the Eagles took the lead. Maddy Burke ran onto a ball and Grandview goalkeeper Jordan Nytes was caught off her line in no-man’s land. Burke quickly rounded the goalkeeper and slotted it home into an empty net for the opening goal.

At halftime, the Wolves had outshot the Eagles 3-2, but didn’t have much to show for it other than one half-chance early that went wide of the post. The Wolves outshot the Eagles 7-5 in the match.

For head coach Brian Wood, with 11 seniors on the team, all of whom will play collegiately, he knew leadership would find a way to influence the second half.

“We have assistant coaches who played in college, so we knew we could talk about the expectations you’re going to have, and how you’re going to have to step up,” said Wood, who also ran the boys program for several years. “How they responded to that… was really cool.”

After the Wolves took the lead, Broomfield tried to catch them on the counterattack, but Grandview’s defense held firm in the closing stages and was able to see out the win. The Wolves had 11 seniors and that experience paid off with a state title, and clutch finishing.

Class 2A final: Dawson 3, Crested Butte 0

Dawson School, located in Lafayette, won its second straight  2A girls title, and its third in the last four seasons in the early game.

The Mustangs (13-5-1) scored six minutes in, as Madison Shaw opened the scoring with a goal as she fired a shot from the left-hand side of the box. That would remain the score at halftime. While the No. 10 seed Titans (12-6) created a few opportunities, they weren’t ever able to truly threaten.

In the second half, the Mustangs added two more goals for good measure. In the 66th minute, Ella Stewart converted a penalty kick to make it 2-0. With just four minutes remaining, they added their third, as Kanoe Bihag put the exclamation point on the title.

The Mustangs, who were the fifth seed in the tournament, have also finished runner-up five other times in program history, but are poised for another deep run to the title game next year as they are only losing three seniors.

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