MONUMENT The night's loudest roar came not from the fans cheering on Palmer Ridge during a 9-1 win over Woodland Park on Tuesday at Don Breese Stadium.
Instead, the eruption sounded with 20:04 left in the game after Panthers sophomore Morghan Sieracki found the back of the net on a low blast from 12 yards out.
The lone goal gave Woodland Park (10-5-1), the No. 30 seed in the 32-team 4A girls' soccer tournament, a boost heading into the offseason. And a reason for everyone in forest green uniforms to raise their voices.
'It feels good to get one, and this gives us a kick start for next season, ' Sieracki said. 'We've all been working to get here. The first 15 minutes were tough, but we didn't want to let them mercy-rule us (a 10-goal deficit). We didn't give up. '
No. 3 Palmer Ridge (12-3-1) did what an overwhelming home favorite should do: score early and often. The Bears set the tempo with six goals in the first 21:26 as coach Nick Odil pulled his starters and gave his reserves plenty of playing time.
Mackenzie Gouner opened the scoring just 2:50 into the game, then added two more to lead the Bears, who will get a much tougher test in a second-round home matchup against Evergreen at 4 p.m. Friday.
'I like scoring goals, ' Odil said. 'It's always fun, and we had different ones scoring, so that was good. I have to give Woodland Park credit. They played hard, and we got a good hard game from them. We're excited about the next round. '
Likewise, Woodland Park is excited about the future. Three years removed from their last playoff berth, the Panthers will lose six seniors but return a large group of underclassmen to continue the journey next season.
'This is the first step, to get back to the playoffs, ' Panthers coach Andrew Pappadakis said. 'Next year, we've got to come back with the intention of winning, instead of just staying on the field. It's a pleasure to come in here and have this kind of performance. '