ALLENTOWN — It was the latest "first' in a postseason full of them.
Yet the Boyertown girls soccer program is resisting the temptation to get caught up in the individual moments. It's not settling for reaching each step, looking instead to the next one — as was the case Tuesday when it opened play in the PIAA's Class AAA playoffs against Easton.
In a veritable offensive outburst, the Bears rolled over the District 11 champion Red Rovers, 4-0, at J. Birney Crum Stadium. Olivia Frazier's two-goal showing headed the half-dozen offensive contributors who made the locals (19-2-2) winners in their first-ever visit to the state-level playoffs.
"This may be a new stage, but we didn't prepare any differently for it,' Boyertown head coach Bill Goddard said afterward. "We told the girls to believe in who they are, and what they do. They went out and set the tone for the game.
"It was a total team effort.'
Boyertown dominated the key statistical categories of shots on goal (11-3) and corners (6-1) while keeping the ball at Easton's end of the field for much of the game. Defensively, it required goalkeeper Sarafina Valenti to make just three saves in recording her third shutout of the postseason.
Together, it moves the Bears to the quarterfinal round of states, where it will face Central Bucks East Saturday at a site and time to be established. That accomplishment comes on the heels of such other "firsts' as reaching the District 1-AAA quarterfinals, qualifying for states and finishing third in districts.
"It means a lot to us,' Frazier said. "It was one of our goals since the start of the season. Playing the top teams in the state, we see their weaknesses, we work on them, and it's all come together.'
Frazier broke up the goal-less duel with 15:19 to go in the first half, when Emily Saxon set up for a corner kick. Saxon, who had two assists on the night, shot the ball toward the Easton cage, where Frazier headed it home past Red Rover goalkeeper Erin Anagnost.
It became a two-goal game with less than eight minutes in the half, Emily Diehl shooting to the right side off another corner by Saxon at the 7:57 mark. Boyertown went into the half having outshot Easton by a 7-1 margin and allowed the Rovers no corners.
"Saxon has been amazing with the ball,' Diehl said, "It's exciting. I haven't scored for a while.'
The Bears made their lead a whopping 3-0 with 23:57 left in the game. Frazier's second tally was set up by Taylor Sassaman, who fed the ball so her teammate could convert from the left side.
"She's been coming off the bench for us all year,' Goddard said of Frazier. "We get the idea for her to have a look at the game, get a better perspective. It's a nice resource to bring her in off the bench.'
While they started substituting more frequently over the final eight minutes, the Bears showed no dropoff in performance. Rather, they tacked on another goal in the final minute, courtesy of Darian Ruyak off the assist by Kasey Sheahan.
"It's shocking,' Diehl said. "Coach told us about all the 1-0 games we've had. But this one ... no one expected it.'
"Athletically, I think we were better than them,' Goddard added. "And you can't coach speed. I think we came out of District 1 battle-tested.'
Boyertown will be playing East for the second time in a week. They met last weekend at Souderton in the district's third-place game, which the Bears took by a 1-0 count on the strength of a Jillian Bertino goal.
"It's weird,' Diehl said, "to think of what's happened from the preseason in August to now. With all the work we've done, we don't want to throw it up. We're not letting it get past us.'
"Tonight we played with more passion,' Goddard added. "We told the kids to play like there's no tomorrow, to not be happy just to be here.
"We've knocked on the door the last couple years. This was one of our goals, but we want to give us more.'
Easton's most promising opportunity to get on the scoreboard came with 10:52 left in the second half, when it packed into the center of the cage off a corner kick. But Valenti made a leaping save to help keep the shutout going. ... Frazier on Boyertown's night-capping goal by Ruyak: "It was great to see Darian get it. She deserved it.'
Follow Jeff Stover on Twitter at @MercuryXStover.