Tea Smith and her Fairview girls soccer teammates were just getting ready to take the field for the second half of their Class 5A first round playoff game when the Monarch girls team snuck stealthily into the stands across the field after the Coyotes had defeated their first-round opponent.
No matter how nonchalant the Coyotes tried to be, the Knights took notice and in turn gave them quite a show. Leading Douglas County 1-0 at the break, the Knights scored three goals in four minutes to pull away in what was eventually a 5-0 decision on Tuesday.
Next up is Monarch, their Front Range League foes who Fairview beat by a 1-0 count way back on March 31.
"You know, it's great for Boulder Valley soccer that we get that matchup and we know they have a great, great team." said Fairview coach Dan Neidringhaus, whose team was led by Smith's two second-half tallies. "The girls are anxious and ready. They already started talking about that matchup on the bench about halfway through that second half.
"I think our midfield did a really good job of connecting with our forwards and our girls up top ... they're really starting to play well off one another. We talked at halftime about not playing too tense; that the goals would come. And that's exactly what happened."
In the thick of FRL play the past couple weeks, goals came at a premium and the Knights hadn't enjoyed even a three-goal output in the past three outings — granted FHS did play Fossil Ridge, Legacy and Rocky Mountain in that stretch.
But on Tuesday there was a great deal of connection and a good amount of finishing. The Knights, seeded ninth in the CHSAA 5A bracket, put Douglas County on its heels just after the second half started, when Smith scored two goals sandwiching a Kate O'Neill goal between the 47th and 51st minute of play.
Smith had been in a scoring slump after getting the season off to a great start, but she ended it in a big way with a 40-yard run through traffic that was capped with a deceptive kick into an open net to make it 2-0.
"I definitely had a rough patch but we were still winning so it wasn't a big deal. But it was good to finally have a goal again and maybe get back on track," Smith said.
The Knights (11-3-2) were consistently pressuring throughout against the Huskies (8-8) but two shots off the cross bar kept it a close game after 40 minutes. Brooke Berdan did give the hosts a lead to work with when she followed up on an Olivia Hays shot that goalie Cierra Asmann couldn't completely corral.
Emily Kaplan and Gabi Lukac combined to get the final goal on the board, and the Knights were well on their way to a Friday matchup against No. 8 seed MoHi.
"We can always do better but we're getting close to where we want to be," Smith said. "It's exciting to play a team we've already played, but it's going to be interesting for sure."
Fairview 5, Douglas County 0
At Fairview HSDouglas County 0 0 — 0
Fairview 1 4 — 5
Goals (assists) — Fairview: Brooke Berdan (Olivia Hays assist), 21st minute; Fairview: Tea Smith (unassisted), 47th; Fairview: Kate O'Neill (unassisted), 50th; Fairview: Smith (unassisted), 51st; Fairview: Gabi Lukac (Emily Kaplan assist), 55th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Douglas County: Cierra Asmann (80-5-8); Fairview: Avery Tallman (68-0-3), Elle Meyer (12-0-1).