LAFAYETTE — For reasons ranging from college visits to club commitments to choir concerts, the Peak to Peak girls soccer team on Thursday night had several girls out of action for their third non-league game of the season.
Yet the beat went on for the Pumas against Longmont, a 4-0 win at the Peak to Peak field that represented a perfect start-of-the-season run through 4A teams prior to the gauntlet that is the Class 3A Metro League soccer schedule.
Seniors Kenna Hazzard and Rebecca Thompson combined for three of the goals, and Hazzard also contributed an assist on Juliana Walther's first goal of the season as the Pumas were also able to withstand a second-half push from the Trojans to get the win.
"There wasn't one person on the field for us tonight that didn't play well or didn't contribute in some way and that just shows a lot about where we can go," said Walther, a sophomore who saw her first career varsity start on Thursday. "Kenna is one of our captains, and she really helped bring us together before the game. She made all the (reserves) feel welcome and got us pumped up for this one. She deserved every play she made."
Just slightly more than a week into the campaign, Peak to Peak has established itself a little bit with wins over Holy Family, Mead and now LHS. Ranked sixth to begin the year by CHSAANow.com, the Pumas knew that a good run through their 4A-packed preseason schedule would be great preparation for a league that has six ranked teams including preseason No. 1 Kent Denver and No. 2 Colorado Academy.
With a slightly different lineup — the team was missing Ashley Buck, Heidi Buchtel, Kinzie Short, Emma Shepherd and Jordan Deger — they finished on shots Thursday and Hazzard really was tough to deal with the entire night.
She got the scoring going in the 10th minute on a well-placed through ball from Alayna Mann, sent a rocket into the goal box in the 28th minute that Walther managed to clean up after Longmont keeper Ashley Herredia couldn't quite fully corral, and then potted another goal with a nice maneuver just 30 ticks into the second stanza.
Thompson was ahead of the pack for the fourth and final goal in the 60th minute.
"When you're missing so many girls like we were, you just never know what you're going to face but I thought our seniors did a great job of keeping everybody in check," Pumas coach Joe Swanson said. "We've struggled with finishing a little bit. Rebecca got a monkey off her back tonight and it was nice to see her grab a goal. The defense, though, I can't say enough about how they played overall, too."
After making the playoffs last year, the Trojans (0-5) have struggled offensively out of the gates with just one goal to their name. Thursday saw the Trojans get a little angry and push during the second half of play, getting several good hard shots at Peak keeper Rachel Willitte (nine saves overall).
While confidence may be lacking a bit, Longmont head coach Mike DiGiallonardo continues to see signs of life that the Trojans will look to harvest as they dig into Northern League play.
"We need to start pushing forward and we will have some time to work on some things with a lighter schedule next week," DiGiallonardo said. "Against Frederick, I felt like 80 percent of the game was in our attack but we couldn't get the ball in the net. I truly have a talented group and I just have to get them to that point of confidence."
Peak to Peak 4, Longmont 0
At Peak to Peak HSLongmont (0-5) 0 0 — 0
Peak to Peak (3-0) 2 2 — 4
Goals (assists) — Peak to Peak: Kenna Hazzard (Alayna Mann assist), 10th minute; Peak to Peak: Juliana Walther (Hazzard), 28th; Peak to Peak: Hazzard (Taryn McGinnis), 41st; Peak to Peak: Rebecca Thompson (Quinn Precourt), 60th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Longmont: Ashley Herredia (80-4-5); Peak to Peak: Rachel Willitte (80-0-9).