ST. CHARLES • For just over five minutes Saturday during its Class 1 quarterfinal at Orchard Farm, the Principia girls soccer team could do no wrong.
The visiting Panthers buzzed the Orchard Farm net and scored a trio of goals en route to the 6-1 win and a date with Springfield Catholic (19-6) next Friday in a Class 1 semifinal in Blue Springs.
“This result is so rewarding, because we were so prepared for this game,” Principia freshman midfielder Madison Ahrens said. “The last three days we’d been waking up and just practicing so hard. We knew all of their players, and we were ready for this. We’re all excited.”
Ahrens got Principia (15-3) onto the scoreboard with just over 22 minutes left in the first half.
She took a pass from teammate Tanya Marquardt and ripped a shot into the right side of the goal past Orchard Farm goalkeeper Brittany Boyer.
Less than two minutes later, Principia struck again.
Marquardt broke loose through the middle of the Eagles defense and rifled a shot into the right corner for the 2-0 lead with 20:23 left in the half.
“I got a pass from Robyn Johnson, and I saw a perfect angle to the goal,” Marquardt said. “It was beautiful. It happened right in front of me. We came to this game ready, and we put the (hot) weather behind us. We came out and played our game. None of us gave up. None of us quit.”
Almost exactly three minutes later, Principia’s Merran Waller took a pass from Marquardt and weaved her way through the Orchard Farm defense where she ultimately tucked the ball in the Eagles’ net with 17:02 left in the half.
The offensive blitzkrieg by the Panthers left Orchard Farm coach Brandon Cox almost at a loss for words.
“We gave up three goals on the first four shots of the game, and that’s not going to win any games for you,” Cox said. “It’s not our goalie’s fault — we just had lapses defensively. They’re a very good team, and you can have those lapses or weak moments.”
Orchard Farm (11-13-1) looked to make a game of it early in the second half.
With 3:42 gone, Alexis Robbers stood over a free kick from 30 yards out where she promptly slammed it over Principia goalkeeper Kara Johnson, under the crossbar and into the net for the 3-1 score.
“We’d been practicing those kicks lately,” said Robbers of her shot. “It felt good to go down fighting, but it didn’t feel good (to lose).”
That was as close as the Eagles would get, however, as Principia poured in three more second-half goals to remove any doubt about the game’s outcome.
The goals came from Courtney Woodley with 22 minutes left, Ahrens — with her second of the game — at the 15-minute mark and Robyn Johnson with just under seven minutes left to round out the scoring barrage.
“The girls played the whole game, and they strung along their passes like they were supposed to,” Principia coach Travis Brantingham said. “They played the way they were supposed to, and that makes me happy.”