With an onslaught of offense at the end of the first period, Pine Creek had all the momentum it needed.
The No. 3-seeded Eagles defeated No. 14 Grandview 3-0 after Jayne Lydiatt, a sophomore, dropped in two goals in the second period at District 20 Stadium to put the Eagles into the quarterfinals of the Class 5A girls' soccer state playoffs Friday.
"We are playing with more heart for a full 80 minutes," Eagles coach John Frederick said. "They have that passion and they are playing for each other. It's nice to see that."
Pine Creek freshman Natasha Wehner finally cracked the rock that was Grandview goalie Maddie Lesjak when Wehner broke loose from the Wolves' back four for an unassisted goal to put the Eagles up 1-0 at the 42nd minute.
"We knew we had a lot of momentum at the end of the first half and we wanted to carry it into the second," Lydiatt said. "It can be hard doing that, but we kept ourselves pumped up, got a quick goal. But we knew it wasn't enough."
Seven minutes later, Lydiatt snuck in on Lesjak's left side, aided by sophomore Reese Hummel, to catch the keeper out of position and put the Eagles (14-2-1) up by two.
"We knew how we needed to score on them," Lydiatt said. "Our back stepped up. The mid stepped up. Our forwards stepped up. The team stepped up."
Down to the final three minutes, the Eagles front line was fierce on the attack but would-be shots on goal were ripped just wide. That is, until Lydiatt got penetration inside the 6-yard box to score her second goal of the night.
Lydiatt said it was easier for Pine Creek to finish their easier shots. The Eagles are connecting better in the back, and given Grandview (10-4-2) was a more physical team than the Eagles had faced recently, the experience should prove valuable heading into the quarterfinals against Arapahoe, Lydiatt said.
Pine Creek will host the Warriors on Tuesday.
Last year, Pine Creek lost in the second round of the playoffs. Making the quarterfinals was a top goal for the team, goalkeeper Jade Odom said. Pine Creek's two shutout playoff wins gives Odom the second most shutouts in school history since 1999, when Pine Creek opened.
In addition, Odom's goals against average dropped to just over 0.5 per game.
"That brings added pressure but we take it as a team," the freshman keeper said. "We conquer that pressure together, and we get the goals we need and do what we need to get done."
Odom said she's most excited to see how the Eagles respond to quarterfinals competition.
"When we know we need to win, we play so much better," she said. "That's exciting to experience. It almost feels like no one can stop us."
Frederick said he was pleased to see Pine Creek control the ball most of the game with a mix of long and short balls through the midfield, especially against an aggressive team like Grandview.
"To do that against a good team feels great," the coach said. "We've been working on improving our possession game all season."