LAFAYETTE — The fireworks display was bound to happen. It just took a little while.
For Peak to Peak girls soccer fans, it was worth the wait.
The Pumas muddled through a mostly nondescript opening half of the postseason Friday night, but once the defending Class 3A champs got started, it was electric. The second-seeded hosts got five goals from all-stater Belle Morel and throttled No. 31 Florence 7-1.
“We just needed to get our rhythm together and get our passes going,” Morel said. “Once we connected and simplified it by keeping it on the ground, we started putting them in the net.”
Morel put the Pumas on the board in the second minute when a pass from Ivy DeVries ricocheted over the head of Florence keeper Hayden Masar and gave Morel an open net. But that was it for the Pumas (12-2-2) for a lengthy stretch.
It appeared Florence (10-5-1) was going to be in striking distance when it remained 1-0 late in the first half, but that’s when the eruption began. First, sophomore Grae Roda ricocheted a shot off of Masar and into the net, and Morel added another in the waning moments. For the Pumas, a 3-0 advantage was much more mind-easing at intermission.
“For me individually, that goal was big, because I wasn’t having a good start,” Roda said. “When it went in, I was super pumped for the rest of the game.”
DeVries finished with one goal and two assists — she’s the Pumas’ second-leading scorer for the season despite playing defense — and Bri Wetmore contributed two assists.
Peak to Peak advanced to Saturday’s second round, where the Pumas will take on No. 18 Roaring Fork at 2 p.m. The Rams defeated Front Range Christian 1-0 in overtime Friday.
The Pumas made sure that was the only upset of the day.
“We knew it was a tough game, because obviously you don’t get a No. 2 seed without being a good team,” Florence coach Bill Vinelli said. “But the way we looked at it, it was just another 3A soccer team. We didn’t add any extra hype to them being the defending champs. We tried to ease the nerves.”
For a moment, it looked like Peak to Peak was the team exhibiting nerves. But the Pumas quickly retooled.
“There was a little frustration,” Morel said. “We knew we should have been playing better and finishing our opportunities. But we pushed it aside when we got into our game.”
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Peak to Peak 7, Florence 1
At Peak to Peak H.S.
Florence (10-5-1) 0 1 — 1
Peak to Peak (12-2-2) 3 4 — 7
Goals (assists) — Peak to Peak: Morel (DeVries), 2nd minute; Peak to Peak: Gr. Roda (Wetmore), 34th; Peak to Peak: Morel, 39th; Peak to Peak: Morel, 45th; Peak to Peak: Morel (Wetmore), 51st; Florence: Gordon (Harper), 58th; Peak to Peak: DeVries (Vanderheiden), 60th; Peak to Peak: Morel (DeVries), 63rd.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Florence: Masar (65-7-9), Franklin (15-0-0); Peak to Peak: Martinez (40-0-0), Shepherd (40-1-1).