Slow start dooms Fountain Valley in shutout loss to Peak to Peak in girls' soccer playoffs

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Photo - Despite the score, a Fountain Valley girls' soccer fan shows his school spirit during Saturday's 3A playoff game against Peak to Peak at Fountain Valley School. The Danes fell to the Pumas, 7-0. Photo by Kevin Carmody
Despite the score, a Fountain Valley girls' soccer fan shows his school spirit during Saturday's 3A playoff game against Peak to Peak at Fountain Valley School. The Danes fell to the Pumas, 7-0. Photo by Kevin Carmody

It took eight years for Fountain Valley to earn the right to host a 3A state girls' soccer game.

It took only 35 seconds for the seventh-seeded Danes to find themselves trailing. Things only got worse after that.

Lindsay Hudson and Ashley Buck each scored twice as No. 10 Peak to Peak scored all seven of its goals in the first half - including the last six in a span of only 10:30 -­ as the Pumas routed the Danes 7-0 Saturday in a 3A round of 16 playoff.

"I just think we weren't awake," Danes senior forward Carter Gwinn said. "We weren't ready to play our game. They came out strong, and we fell back on our heels. Goal after goal, we started to freak out more and more."

Hudson put the Pumas (11-4-1) on top quickly, taking advantage of sloppy play in the Fountain Valley (11-3) end. She picked off a bad pass, dribbled a few times into the box and sent a hard shot the skidded through the legs of sophomore goalkeeper Ava Rahm.

"I think putting something on the goalkeeper was a surprise for her," said Hudson, one of nine freshmen on the team's roster. "I was just trying to test her, I guess. After that, we just wanted to get dangerous balls into the box."

Fountain Valley seemed to find its legs, keeping it a one-goal deficit and managing to create possession and a few scoring opportunities, including a pair from Gwinn.

Peak to Peak reasserted itself, and then some, with an offensive barrage that turned the game into a rout before halftime.

Kenna Hazzard made a run down the right sideline, then crossed it to Buck, who redirected the ball past Rahm for a 2-0 lead with 15:21 left before halftime. A little more than three minutes later, Hudson gobbled up a failed clearing attempt and scored from close range, then Buck scored again as she converted a misplayed ball into another Pumas goal.

Shepherd added a long blast and a tap-in from close range. In between, Elizabeth Pearson banged in a loose ball off a scramble in front after a corner kick to finish the goal-scoring frenzy with 4:51 remaining in the first half.

"That start definitely put us on our back foot, and the girls were shellshocked," Danes coach Byron Dacy said. "I thought the girls recovered well after the first goal, but once they got the next two, it drained us. You could tell they were struggling. As a coach, you wish you had a timeout."

The Danes held strong in the second half, giving Dacy a positive ending on a day where not much went right.

"At halftime, I just told them to play hard," said Dacy, who completed his third season as coach. "I told them to play hard for each other and for the name on the front of your jersey. They came out and did that, and I couldn't be any prouder of their effort in the second half. We showed how we really can play soccer and that the first half was a fluke for us."