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Helias beats Carl Junction, bound for Final Four

Helias beats Carl Junction, bound for Final Four

May 25th, 2013 in News

Helias players jump for joy in celebration of Tiffany Weaver's (back right) first goal of their game against Carl Junction on Saturday in Jefferson City.

Photo by Shaun Zimmerman

The Helias Lady Crusaders entered Saturday a win away from a return trip to the soccer Final Four.

They weren't about to allow the Carl Junction Bulldogs to stand in their way.

The Lady Crusaders scored a little more than a minute into the Class 2 quarterfinal contest against the Bulldogs and cruised to a 9-0 victory at the 179 Soccer Park.

"We set a tone, it made it tough for them to come back," Helias coach Brad Dempsey said.

The Lady Crusaders scored two more times in the next 10 minutes to take 3-0 lead. And take any potential drama completely out of the contest.

"We had some jitters and we didn't give ourselves time to settle into the game," Carl Junction coach Kevin Hauck said.

Dempsey saw the potential of an offensive explosion coming in the days leading up to the game.

"We've been clicking and showing a lot of improvement in our attacking," he said.

With the win, the Lady Crusaders (16-8) advance to Friday's semifinal at 2 p.m. against Rosati-Kain (18-6-1) in Blue Springs.

Tiffany Weaver got the opening goal for the Lady Crusaders, finishing a nice cross from Jordan Poire.

Poire then made it 2-0 about four minutes later before Taylor Hagenhoff scored 10 minutes in. Becky Roberts picked up assists on both scores and finished with three in the contest.

Dempsey said it was the obviously Helias' best offensive game of the season.

"We've struggled to put in the net at times against teams with a talent level like Carl Junction and that shows the improvement we've made," he said "It's a tribute to the girls who put in a lot of hard work to get here."

Carl Junction's best chance to score came midway through the opening half when Cara Perkins' free kick from about 25 yards skipped off the top of the crossbar.

The Helias offense kicked it back into gear in the final 15 minutes of the half. Jane McCurren, Sydnee Kliethermes, Poire, Roberts and Jane Harris all scored in a barrage that gave the Lady Crusaders a very comfortable 8-0 edge at intermission.

Poire, Roberts and Whitley Malzner had assists on the goals.

Carl Junction, in its first quarterfinal appearance in just the fifth year of the program, could never get settled.

"It wasn't the type of half we wanted," Hauck said.

The Lady Crusaders played like the tested and veteran squad they are.

"I think the teams that we have played this year have almost a total of 300 wins," Dempsey said. "We're proud of the schedule we play because we have to battle game-in and game-out and it prepared us for the postseason."

Most of the Helias starters spent the second half firmly planted on the bench. Except starting keeper Liz Czarnecki, who got the opportunity to run around the field at forward in the final 40 minutes.

McCurren got Helias' lone tally in the second half, that coming about nine minutes into action off an assist by Morgan Rundle.

"We're not trying to smash people, that's not our goal," Dempsey said. "The goal is to teach the kids and give them a chance to learn and the bench did a very good job."

Lydia Linsenbardt was in goal in the second half for the Lady Crusaders

"They're a good team," Hauck said. "They keep their formation, they possess the ball well and move well.

"I think they will have a good run in the Final Four and I hope they do."

Carl Junction, which will return all 11 starters, ends the season at 19-6.