Helias improves to 2-0 after another 2-0 victory

With just a handful of starters returning, the Helias Crusaders went to what has worked before — start in the back with the defense, then worry about getting some offense.

The defense has done its part in the first week of the soccer season. And the offense has more than held up its end of the bargain.

“We didn’t know how well we’d play at the start,” Helias coach Chuck Register said after the Crusaders posted their second 2-0 victory in three days at the 179 Soccer Park, this one against the Camdenton Lakers. “But to win 2-0 in both games, I’m pretty pleased.

“We’re only going to get better the more we play. We have the drive to compete.”

The Crusaders set the tone in the first 10 minutes Thursday night against the Lakers, controlling the ball and the pace of play with repeated runs deep into the Camdenton defense.

“We took our time, we were patient, we looked for the right areas to get it to,” Register said. “It was fun to watch.”

After a couple of good chances went wide, Helias got on the board about nine minutes into the game. Helias senior Dominic Salamone chased down a long ball and used his left foot to knock about a 20-yard shot into the net.

“Their keeper was pretty aggressive and gave him a window and Dominic is a smart player,” Register said.

The Lakers had their best scoring chance of the night with eight minutes to go in the half. Helias keeper Kyle Daledovich came out to harness a ball, but the Lakers chipped it past him toward the goal.

Helias senior defender Carson Mueller hustled back and cleared the ball away just before it reached the net.

“We got caught watching and Kyle came off the line a little bit,” Register said. “That was a great play by Carson.”

Despite a lot of bumping and banging, there were only five fouls called in a physical first half. The referee matched that total in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

The Crusaders picked up an insurance goal with 11 minutes left. Salamone broke away down the right side deep into Camdenton territory, then found an open Braden Toebben for the score.

“Dom didn’t try to do too much,” Register said. “He saw an opening and it was a good pass. Dom was doing a good job of orchestrating things up front and Braden knocked in a rocket.”

The Crusaders finished with a 21-6 edge in total shots, including 9-3 advantage in those on net.

Helias (2-0) is back in action Monday at Washington.

In Thursday’s JV game, Helias picked up its first win of the season with a 4-1 decision against Camdenton.

Ethan Twehus had two goals for Helias (1-3-1), while Grant Stokes and Zach Simon had single tallies.

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