COLORADO SPRINGS — Bailey Giddings stepped up to the penalty spot in a tie game in the Class 5A state championship at Weidner Field. The sophomore did not hesitate, commanding that she take the shot.
Giddings then buried the go-ahead goal with 11 minutes to go, her second of the game, and the Eagles never looked back to claim the state title with a 3-1 win over Rock Canyon.
“I hit the ball right every single time, but I looked left, and I think that keeper saw that, and she dove that way, and I kicked it the other,” Giddings said while eyeing her team’s trophy in front of the Eagles student section.
The win completed Broomfield’s undefeated (13-0-1) season and gave the Eagles their first title since 2006, finally breaking through after four runner-up finishes since 2013.
“She tucked that thing away with a plump,” head coach Jim Davidson said of Giddings’ penalty shot. “She is just tough as nails; she has one of the toughest mentalities of players I’ve coached over 24 years.”
Giddings’ got the scoring started. With six minutes left in the first half, as she was falling to her right, she right-booted a cross into the goal.
Minutes later, she was on the ground with cramps, forcing FIFA official and Colorado native Karen Abt — who last officiated a high school game in 2009 — to halt the match briefly.
“She was cramping in the first half, and we’re worried about what kind of minutes she was going to be able to give us in the second half,” Davidson said.
Just a few minutes into the second half, Cate Sheahan leveled the contest for the Jaguars on a volley off a corner kick.
The game went back and forth for most of the second half, but the Eagles started to win more balls, attacking the midfield. The forwards got aggressive, and the Rock Canyon defense eventually faltered, getting called for a handball in the box with 11 minutes left in the tied game.
That’s when Giddings put the title on her foot with the penalty score.
“It was the game of her career,” Davidson said proudly.
Four minutes later, Broomfield added some insurance from Michaela McGowan, who was trailing on a run as a ball crossed into the box. She pounded home the third goal, punctuating Broomfield’s championship.
“To get that third goal to have a little bit of cushion (and) know that we have players who understand how to kill the game felt pretty good,” Davidson said.
The Eagles hoisted the trophy, Giddings ran back to her phone on the bench and called Maddie Brady, a teammate who was at a club tournament in California. Joined by Brady on a little screen, they chanted “I believe we have just won” as the Broomfield student section celebrated.
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