The effort was the big thing. The result on Senior Night was the icing on the cake.
"We played a lot better as a team," Helias coach Chuck Register said after the Crusaders blanked the Marshall Owls 3-0 on Thursday night at the 179 Soccer Park. "The ball movement was better, the defensive effort was better, it was a great team win."
A great defensive play played a role in the first goal of the contest.
About 15 minutes into the contest, Helias keeper Kyle Daledovich dove far to his right to corral a Marshall shot that appeared destined for the corner of the net.
"I don't know how Kyle got extra reach to get to that ball," Register said.
On the ensuing trip down the field, Dominic Salamone of Helias rifled a shot off a Marshall defender and into the net to give the Crusaders the lead.
"I'll take those all day," Register said.
The Crusaders doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Braden Toebben scored on a penalty kick.
As is his custom on PKs, Register turned his back to the field on the shot.
"I never watch," he said. "I never watch PKs, all I heard was "Goal.'"
At halftime, Register stressed the Crusaders needed one more goal to ice the contest.
It took all of 90 seconds to get that score. Salamone did the honors off a nice assist by Jeremy Wolters.
"That one took them out of their game," Register said.
It was the eighth shutout of the season for Daledovich, who made three saves in the contest. Helias outshot Marshall 19-9, including a 9-3 advantage in attempts on net.
Helias (12-5, ranked No. 9 in Class 2) host Quincy (Ill.) on Saturday. The junior varsity starts at 10:45 a.m., with the varsity to follow around 12:30 p.m.
In Thursday's JV game, Marshall topped Helias 1-0.
Prior to the game, Helias honored its 10 seniors - Daledovich, Clay Carroll, Wolters, Toebben, Salamone, Gage West, Cody Hamacher, Tim Struemph, Austin Sachse and Carson Mueller.