Lady Crusaders top Lady Spartans

Morgan Rundle of the Helias Lady Crusaders attempts to chase down the ball on the offensive end of the field during Tuesday night’s game against the Moberly Lady Spartans at the Falcon Athletic Complex in Wardsville.

Morgan Rundle of the Helias Lady Crusaders attempts to chase down the ball on the offensive end of the field during Tuesday night’s game against the Moberly Lady Spartans at the Falcon Athletic Complex in Wardsville. Photo by Shaun Zimmerman.

WARDSVILLE, Mo. — The circumstances weren’t exactly ideal.

A cold night. Rain forcing the game to be played on turf. A bank of lights going completely out. Moberly playing a defensive style.

So despite Helias dominating play and manufacturing a plethora of scoring chances, Lady Crusaders coach Brad Dempsey was more than fine with a 2-1 victory Tuesday night in the inaugural varsity soccer match at the Falcon Athletic Complex.

“On a night like tonight, with the switching everything, I’m happy with having that result,” he said. “I thought our team played well. We controlled the whole game. We bent a little bit a couple times, but we didn’t break.”

Originally scheduled to be played in Moberly, the game was moved to Blair Oaks’ turf football field, which is already painted with yellow lines suited for soccer. Four Helias fathers transported two soccer goals on a 16-foot trailer to the complex to make the game a possibility.

“Thank you to Blair Oaks and athletic director Ryan Fick for letting us come play here,” Dempsey said. “That’s a community thing where people work together to make things happen. We’re probably one of the only teams in action tonight in the whole area.”

All the commotion surrounding the game didn’t seem to faze Helias all that much. The Lady Crusaders held a 23-2 advantage in shots and an 11-0 edge in shots on goal. The possession was also a one-sided affair.

Helias used the wet turf to its advantage all game long, and it was no different on the first goal.

Jordan Poire played a through-ball down the right side that took advantage of Tiffany Weaver’s speed. Weaver raced to the ball and blasted a low shot from just inside the box that beat the Moberly goalkeeper on the near side. The tally put Helias up 1-0 at the 27:18 mark of the first half.

“We play better on turf from what I’ve seen,” Dempsey said. “We have speed. Our first touch is not where it needs to be overall. On grass, when your first touch is a little off, it’s tougher. On turf, if your first touch is a little off, it’s a flat surface, fast surface, and you can run on to it.

“Tiffany’s goal was a great goal. Great individual play.”

Helias added to the lead eight minutes later off a corner kick. Taylor Hagenhoff sent a ball into the box that Kaysie Scheuler met with her head to put it over the goalkeeper and into the net. That put Helias ahead 2-0 with 19:43 to play in the opening half.

“Taylor always plays a great ball into the box,” Dempsey said. “Kaysie got her head on the ball. That was a great goal. We had two nice goals.”

While it looked like Helias would cruise from there, the Lady Crusaders couldn’t find the back of the net again, despite a barrage of shots.

With about 17 minutes remaining in the opening half, the entire bank of lights on the southwest corner of the stadium went out. Play was never halted, but that corner of the field was considerably darker.

“I don’t think so,” Dempsey said when asked if the lights going out had much of an effect on the Lady Crusaders.

Moberly made things interesting with a late first-half goal. After Bailey Coleman made a few nice moves, she was taken down in the penalty area. The Lady Spartans were awarded a penalty kick, and Taylor Fusselman slotted one into the lower left-hand corner of the net to cut the deficit to 2-1 with 2:17 left.

“We dove in and gave them a penalty kick, and that’s something we haven’t done yet this year,” Dempsey said. “It’s going to happen. We’re fortunate it happened in a game where we were able to prevail and still control the game and were still on top.”

While Helias bombarded Moberly with 10 second-half shots, including four on goal, the Lady Spartans never seriously threatened again.

Helias (6-4) is scheduled to play Sedalia Smith-Cotton today with a five-game winning streak on the line, following the 5 p.m. JV game. Dempsey said it’s likely the games will be played at the Falcon Athletic Complex again.

“We’re fortunate to get this game in, and hopefully we can get another one in (tonight),” Dempsey said. “It just depends. We’re supposed to get some nasty weather.”

Helias won the JV game 2-0 to improve to 8-2-1 on the season. Morgan Rundle and Sydnee Kliethermes both picked up a goal and an assist.

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