Mullen was predicable winner of state title

Sailors were bounced out of playoffs in close match

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— It was a matchup nearly all of the coaches had predicted.

The Mullen Mustangs, who were seeded No. 1 in the Class 4A girls soccer playoffs, met the No. 2-seeded Lewis-Palmer Rangers for the state championship Tuesday.

With a devastating defense, Mullen shut down Lewis-Palmer, winning the Class 4A state title, 3-0, at Englewood Stadium.

There were no major upsets in this year's playoffs. In fact, the top-four seeded teams all made it to the semifinals.

Broomfield, the No. 3 seed, along with Niwot, which was the No. 4 seed, joined Mullen and Lewis-Palmer in the semifinals.

Seven of the eight teams in the quarterfinals were seeded in the top eight, including the No. 6-ranked Steamboat Sailors.

The top eight seeds were selected by the coaches from the leagues represented in the state playoffs.

The bottom eight seeds were selected by a separate athletic committee, said Judy Barnett, assistant commissioner at the Colorado High School Activities Association.

"I am really proud of the job the coaches did," Barnett said. "It sounds like the coaches really know what they're doing."

In the final days of the playoffs, it was the No. 2-seeded Lewis-Palmer Rangers who defeated the No. 3-seeded Broomfield Eagles in the semifinals, before Mullen (No. 1) knocked off Lewis-Palmer in the finals.

The only game involving a lower-seeded team beating a higher-seeded team was Legacy over Alamosa in the first round.

Legacy was seeded ninth and Alamosa was eighth.

Jon Hawes, Steamboat assistant coach, said the Sailors were bounced out of the playoffs sooner than he would have liked.

"I'm surprised that we went out when we did," Hawes said. "I think we outplayed Broomfield in both games we played them. Going down to penalty kicks is almost like a coin toss."

Steamboat lost a 1-0 overtime thriller to Broomfield in the state quarterfinals May 15 after being edged out by one penalty kick in the game's second shoot-out.

Earlier in the year, the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie at a scrimmage.

In the Class 3A division, Denver Christian ousted Faith Christian 2-1 in overtime to claim the state championship.

Cherry Creek won the Class 5A championship by shutting out Chatfield 2-0.

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