COMMERCE CITY - Elegant.
That's the best word to describe Cheyenne Mountain's girls' soccer 4A state champions. The team employed its methodical, thinking woman's approach to edge Broomfield, 2-0, in a title rematch much closer than the score.
Cheyenne Mountain is not a scoring machine. The team won seven 1-0 games this season, and the state title was nearly No. 8.
Don't let the low scores fool you.
This team offers a fascinating and rare combination. Cheyenne Mountain is both understated and utterly dominant. On a soggy night, Cheyenne Mountain celebrated its second straight 4A title as well as an astounding three-season run that saw the team win 52 of 58 games.
Coach Tomas Martinez laughed as he considered all the goal-scoring machines his team subdued this season.
Many of his opponents were adept at compiling a dazzling collection of goals. He took a different route, a subtle one. He collected victories by playing old-school soccer.
In Martinez's view, defense rules. Offense is important, but clearly secondary.
"There's more pressure, more intensity and more on the line with each individual person doing their jobs knowing we weren't going to score that many goals but we weren't going to give up a lot of goals," he said.
It's fun to watch Cheyenne Mountain, which always seems to have an extra girl on the field. This is a genuine team, unselfish and wise and resourceful. There's not an obvious star. The ball constantly moves.
This season's final step to the title was more competitive, more rugged and more dramatic.
Broomfield roared into the state final. In Cheyenne Mountain's three playoff games leading to the title, it scored three goals. Broomfield, meanwhile, scored 14.
The Eagles came close - achingly close - to adding one more in the final.
With 31 minutes left and Cheyenne Mountain clinging to a 1-0 lead, Broomfield's Katie Forsee burst into open spaces and forced goalie Hunter Peifer out of the goal mouth.
Peifer dived at Forsee's shot and managed to place the ring and pinkie fingers of her left hand on the shot.
That was just enough to divert Forsee's shot from the net. The shot clanged off the post.
"I love that post right now," Peifer said. "It's my best friend."
Broomfield would keep pushing, but never seriously threatened after Peifer and the post prevented Forsee from scoring.
When the game ended, Cheyenne Mountain players stormed the field, shouting and leaping and laughing. It was a little strange to see this slow-dancing team moving so rapidly.
The team had not collected a massive mountain of goals. Cheyenne Mountain took the slow, steady route to the top of 4A soccer.
"We're not one of those teams that just run, run, run," Peifer said.
No, Cheyenne Mountain is one of those teams that can just win, win, win.