Lady Jays hosting Helias in annual soccer clash

They could really put on a show in tonight’s edition of the crosstown showdown.

With the talented squads the Jefferson City Lady Jays and Helias Lady Crusaders bring into the game, it promises to be a high-level contest at the 179 Soccer Park.

“It’s going to be a soccer showcase for the talent in Jefferson City,” Helias coach Brad Dempsey said. “There’s going to be a lot of talent on the field.”

Jefferson City (10-3-1) is ranked ninth in the latest Class 3 state poll by the Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association. A blend of young talent has meshed well against a pretty good schedule this season.

“We’ve been able to make things work and have a successful season so far,” Jefferson City coach Matt Stacey said.

The Lady Jays, who will be the home team tonight, are coming off a 2-1 performance in last weekend’s Tournament of Champions in Burlington, Iowa.

“We saw some top-notch teams,” Stacey said. “It was a good experience.”

Helias (11-6), which blanked Warrensburg 3-0 on Monday night, is receiving votes in the Class 2 state poll.

“When you think Class 2 soccer, you have to believe Helias is going to make a deep run,” Stacey said.

Stacey believes Helias’ edge in veterans may give the Lady Crusaders an edge tonight.

“They’ve got experience, we’ve got youth,” he said. “I think that may be one thing in their favor.”

Dempsey isn’t necessarily buying into that.

“I don’t know if there are any advantages in this game,” he said.

Helias has outscored its opponents 37-19 this season, with 10 of those goals allowed coming in two games. The Lady Crusaders, with Liz Czarnecki primarily in goal, have eight shutouts.

“They’re big, strong and athletic,” Stacey said. “It’s a solid team across the field.”

Jefferson City has a 39-11 scoring edge against its opponents. With Becca Sturgess seeing a majority of the time in goal, the Lady Jays have seven shutouts.

“They have some very good goal scorers and nice goalkeeping,” Dempsey said. “One thing that really stands out is how hard they play.”

Action begins with the junior varsity game at 5 p.m., with the varsity to follow around 6:45 p.m.

“It’s a fun game for the kids, rivalry games always are,” Stacey said.

Helias won last year’s meeting 2-0 on its home field.

“(Jefferson City has) proven they’re good all season long,” Dempsey said. “We feel like we’ve proven we’re good. You know all of the girls are going to be ready to put on a show.”

It will be a Pink-Out game tonight. During the game, a 50-50 raffle will be held with proceeds going to local cancer charities.


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