ROYERSFORD — So much for a letdown.
More like a clamp down.
After winning the first Pioneer Athletic Conference girls soccer championship in school history last week, Spring-Ford showed absolutely no signs of letting up as the No. 8 seeded Rams made quick work of No. 25 Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 5-1, in the first round of the District 1-AAA playoffs Tuesday at Coach McNelly Stadium.
Spring-Ford will host No. 9 Central Bucks West, a 3-1 winner over Bishop Shanahan, on Thursday.
Spring-Ford (18-1-1) got a pair of goals and an assist from senior midfield dynamo Megan Giannopoulos. Giannopoulos crossed to sophomore Gabrielle Vagnozzi just 35 seconds in — before the Colonials had even touched the ball — to give the Rams a 1-0 lead.
Brianna Cirino scored the Rams' second goal as Spring-Ford continues its finest season to date after winning one district-level game a year ago (a 3-1 win over Council Rock North); signs of growth for the Rams program. Giannopoulos scored the team's third and fourth goals - Kristen Baumgartner assisting on No. 4 — before senior forward Aley Kate McKinley closed the scoring.
Hard work all game from PW forward Cristina Terraces finally paid off as she took a counterattack the length of the field on her own for the Colonials' consolation goal. PW's season ends with an 11-6-1 record after a third-place finish in the Suburban One League American Conference.
In the silver lining department, it was the Colonials' first district goal after being blanked in their only two other trips.
"Over the last couple of years we lost two good senior groups and we didn't fully know what to expect from the season. This is only our third-ever year in the playoffs and that was our first goal ever in the playoffs,' Plymouth-Whitemarsh coach Steve Slack said.
"Even though it's a disappointment, there are a couple of milestones we can take with us to build on.'
For the PAC-10 champion Rams, it was their first opportunity to let the district seeding committee know that they disagreed with their No. 8 seeding. Plymouth-Whitemarsh was merely the reluctant recipients of the message.
"It was a really important (to start fast),' Vagnozzi said. "We can't take any team lightly and we proved we are better than an (No.) 8 seed.'
"(Getting the No. 8 seed) was kind of frustrating because we know how good of a team we are. We felt like we kind of got robbed,' Giannopoulos said. "I think that's going to help motivate us to prove people wrong.'
The motivation was evident with a goal 35 seconds in. It was equally evident when Spring-Ford held a 3-0 advantage just 16 minutes in. In fact, the Rams scored goals on their first four shots.
But Spring-Ford, which was coming off a 2-1 win over Boyertown in the PAC-10 final, wanted to stay on the gas.
"We set really high expectations for ourselves,' Giannopoulos said. "Even up 3-0 we want to score goals and prove to people we're better.'
After the front trio was removed from the lop-sided game, midfielder Sammy Stipa kept things under control while Brynn Hellberg performed well at striker with some help from midfield Haley Preschutti.
PW's best other chance was a long free kick early in second half by Carly Abbott, whose rip was tipped on to the crossbar by goalkeeper Jenna Griggs (who entered in relief of starter Hope Davis) and bounced out.
But otherwise it was all Spring-Ford as it sets its sights on making more history an already historic season.
"It's all about making a statement,' Vagnozzi said.