LONGMONT — It felt like it was just a matter of time for the Peak to Peak Pumas on Tuesday night.
Playing against a Mead team that was taking the pitch for the fourth time in the opening six days of the season — including back-to-back nights — the pace of the Pumas eventually wore down the bigger, stronger Mavericks and helped them to a 3-0 nonleague victory.
"We never really found our groove and our touches were off, but we were able to capitalize on the chances we got in the second half," Pumas sophomore Ashley Buck said. "We had two good balls in that played on to my goals, so that was definitely something to build on."
Instead of playing the way they normally would, by connecting passes out of the midfield and working the flanks, Peak to Peak (2-0) — ranked No. 6 in the 3A preseason poll by CHSAANow.com — adjusted its style to match and compliment what the Mavs were giving them.
Not necessarily ball over the top of the defense, but more properly placed through passes were the choice.
Clinging to a 1-0 lead with 10 minutes to play, it was Heidi Buchtel's deft touch that sprung the speedy Buck. With her speed, she was able to out-race the Mead defense and, with a quick touch, took goalie Ali Osborne off her line just enough to open the goal wide open.
"We didn't lose a lot of seniors from last year, so we came back with a majority of our starting lineup, and it will still take a few games," Buck said, "But practices have been good, we are pushing each other to be better and before long we will be in full force."
Buck delivered the dagger less than two minutes later. Once again reeling in a terrific pass from Jordan Deger and finishing past Osborne.
"This was more the type of game where those passes presented themselves and you just had to do your best to win your battle," said Buck, who scored once in the Pumas 3-2 win over Holy Family in the opener.
One night after losing 3-2 to Centaurus, Mead (2-2) certainly had its chances and nearly tied things up in the 65th minute.
Anna Maher's shot was knocked down by Rachel Willette — the seventh save in her clean sheet — and the rebound chance was sent high by Cara Valentine.
"We were a step slow, but we had our chance, we just didn't put them away," Mead coach Shane Adler said. "The girls are working hard, but four games in six days will take its toll eventually."
PEAK TO PEAK 3, MEAD 0
At MeadPeak to Peak (2-0) 1 2 — 3
Mead (2-2) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Peak to Peak: Emma Begley (Ashley Buck), 24th; Buck (Heidi Buchtel), 70th; Buck (Jordan Deger), 73rd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Peak to Peak: Rachel Willette (80-0-7); Mead: Ali Osborne (80-3-6).