When it was on, the Moffat County soccer team could compete with the best in the state. That was proven Tuesday night when the Broomfield Eagles won the state title by defeating Liberty, 2-0, for the Class 4A State Championship.
The Bulldogs lost, 3-1, to the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs.
Moffat coach Jeff Hammond was at the championship game.
"Broomfield took some things that we did against them and used them against Liberty," he said.
The team that made Broomfield sweat earned the highest finish that any Bulldog team ever had in the Western Slope League. The team's third-place finish in the league earned it three, first-team WSL All-Conference honors.
The honors went to seniors Malcolm Hillewaert, Schuyler Hammond and Jose 'Pepe' Loya.
"It's the most honors we've ever had," coach Hammond said. "A lot of it has to do with the way those guys carried the team."
Loya was the team's only offensive threat. He scored 20 of the team's 29 goals. That's nearly 70 percent of the offense.
"Because of early injuries (to other players) Pepe was our weapon on offense," Hammond said. "He did most of what he did on an island."
Loya led the league in scoring and set a school record with his 20 goals. He scored in 13 of 15 games the Bulldogs played.
He scored one of the three goals that Broomfield gave up during the playoffs, and he missed a second goal by inches.
Schuyler Hammond was the team's second-leading scorer with three goals. His focus wasn't scoring since he led the defense.
"At the beginning of the season, our defense was scattered all over," coach Hammond said. "Schuyler helped to bring the defense together."
Schuyler Hammond was an honorable mention selection last year for the WSL.
Without Schuyler Hammond, it's hard to imagine how many saves Hillewaert would have had to make. With Schuyler Hammond, Hillewaert made the most saves of any goalie in any class in Colorado. He made 262 saves this year. That was 46 more than any other goalie in Class 4A.
A common thread in the history of all three first-team players is that they played soccer for El Mexico in the summer.
"Playing at a higher level with bigger and stronger players helped all of these guys," coach Hammond said. "It's something I hope the younger players notice and will do in the future."
He said he was thankful for the trio's abilities.
"Not to take away from the other guys, because you don't make a team with three," he said. "But if one of those guys are gone, we don't win as many games as we did."