WARDSVILLE - Joga Bonito -it's a Portuguese soccer-related phrase meaning "play beautifully."
That was on display Wednesday night as Helias smothered Sedalia Smith-Cotton 3-0 at the Falcon Athletic Complex.
"That's real soccer," Helias head coach Brad Dempsey said. "That's keeping it in front, playing feet, we're making runs and we're scoring goals off restarts, which I love.
"We played really well. I thought Sedalia was a good team."
Good team or not, Helias took it to Smith-Cotton.
The Lady Crusaders held a 26-1 edge in shots and a 12-1 advantage in shots on goal. It took Smith-Cotton nearly 60 minutes of play to manage its first and only shot, a low, skipping ball from about 30 yards out that was easily handled.
"There's a difference, and you can see it," Dempsey said. "Our girls are starting to keep shape. We like to pressure the other team, but sometimes you can't. We're containing and we're winning the ball back in the middle third instead of our defense having to bend and scatter."
With Helias pressuring early and often, the Lady Crusaders scored their first goal just 10 minutes into the game. Off a corner kick, Taylor Hagenhoff and Haley Bax worked the short game without Smith-Cotton sending a defender out to pressure the corner. Hagenhoff took a few dribbles in and sent in a cross Becky Roberts met with her head and put into the back of the net.
Helias nearly made it 2-0 at the 19:22 mark, but Tiffany Weaver was ruled offside after a game of pinball left the ball at her feet. She slotted it into the goal, but it ended up being rendered moot.
The first half ended with the Lady Crusaders ahead 1-0. A 16-0 edge in shots, including 7-0 in shots on goal, left Helias on the verge of breaking the game open.
It took 70 seconds for Helias to add an insurance goal in the second half. Again Smith-Cotton elected not to send a defender out to pressure a corner kick, and again a ball was played into the box from a shorter distance. After a scramble in front of the goal, Kendall Smith punched it home to make it 2-0.
Madison Lammers made it 3-0 at the 25:42 mark, blasting a left-footed shot home from just outside the six-yard box following a low-lying cross from Kaysie Scheuler.
"Absolutely happy with 3-0," Dempsey said. "Soccer's not about how many goals you score, it's about controlling the game and putting one in. We did that."
With three games in the Capital City Invitational this weekend, Dempsey decided the three-goal cushion was enough and rested most of his starters.
"I'm always happy as a coach when we play a game and everybody gets in and plays well," he said.
Liz Czarnecki and Lydia Linsenbardt combined for the shutout in goal. Czarnecki took the first turn, with Linsenbardt coming in with 17 minutes left in the game.
It was Helias' second straight game at Blair Oaks, following Tuesday night's 2-1 win against Moberly on the same turf field. The temperature Wednesday was a little bit better this time around though.
"Those cold games are hard to fight through. Then you get a night like tonight, which was awesome," Dempsey said. "It's great to be out here. We're getting spoiled with this turf. We've played seven out of 11 games on turf this year. It's crazy, it's fun."
Helias (7-4) is on a six-game winning streak. The Lady Crusaders will look to extend that when they play Westminster Christian Academy at 5 p.m. Friday on Field 3 at the 179 Soccer Park. Helias then plays Springfield Catholic at 9 a.m. Saturday, then Lee's Summit West at 1 p.m.
Helias won the JV game 2-1 to improve to 9-2-1 on the season.
Morgan Rundle and Sydnee Kliethermes scored the goals for the Lady Crusaders. Lauren Brune and Julie Harris added assists.