Brad Dempsey wants the Helias Lady Crusaders to be more dangerous on the offensive end in 2014.
How does nine goals in the season opener sound?
Becky Roberts scored a hat trick to lead Helias to a 9-0 pasting of Waynesville on Tuesday night at the 179 Soccer Park.
"I thought we played well," the second-year Helias head coach said. "I told you earlier we want to be dangerous, and we feel good about the way we're attacking and the players that we have in attack. You can tell. It's all them. They've played together for years and they've wanted to prove they can be dangerous and play hard and play fast, and they can."
Roberts scored her first varsity hat trick, Tiffany Weaver and Morgan Rundle both tallied two goals and Maddie Lammers and Jordan Poire added a goal apiece. Weaver and Poire both picked up two assists, while Lammers, Abby Rockers, Julie Harris and Meghan Nappier had one each.
"I think it was a good start because last year we didn't do so hot," Roberts said, alluding to Helias' 1-0 loss in last year's season-opener at Waynesville. "... I think we came out with the mindset that we needed a win and to get off to a great start."
The final score was indicative of the play on the field. Helias owned a 33-3 edge in shots and a 23-2 advantage in shots on goal. Almost all the play happened on the side of the field Helias was attacking.
"We have to keep improving," Dempsey said. "It's good to build off of."
It didn't take long for Helias to get on the scoreboard.
Rundle slotted home a goal just 4:45 into the game after Weaver tapped a pass to her in the box. It was Rundle again not even two minutes later who flicked in another pass from Weaver over the goalkeeper for the goal.
"Rundle almost had (a hat trick) as well," Dempsey said. "She played a fantastic game. They just all did."
Weaver then banged one home after winning a 50/50 ball with the Waynesville goalkeeper on a cross from Poire at the 30:18 mark.
Lammers rocketed a goal near-post following a beautiful give-and-go with Poire off a corner kick to make it 4-0 at the 18:17 mark before Roberts got her first at the 11:24 mark after using soccer's version of a crossover dribble to deke the goalkeeper and blast one home.
Poire beat the halftime buzzer to make it 6-0, slotting home a through-ball from Rockers with two seconds left in the opening period.
"What I like most about it? The fact that they can score, but they're unselfish," Dempsey said. "You saw how many balls we played behind the defense on the ground. It took us three-quarters of the season last year to even get to that point. It says a lot about these young ladies. That they're teachable, they're coachable, they want to be good, they want to be great.
"What more can you ask for? That's what they want, and they work for it. You can see the improvement from last year to this year already from the fact we're able to do that."
It took Helias a little longer to score in the second half.
Roberts got her second at the 27:15 mark. The senior blasted a shot from the middle of the penalty box, one the goalkeeper even got a hand on. But the momentum carried the ball past the goal line into the net.
Weaver scored her second of the game on an assist from Harris just a minute later before what might have been the night's best goal.
Nappier streaked down the right sideline before sending a cross into the box. Roberts volleyed the pass into the netting on the left side of the goal for her third tally.
"It doesn't surprise me," Dempsey said of Roberts' hat trick.
Sydnee Kliethermes, Ashley Rehagen and Olivia Wolken combined for the shutout in goal.
"We did everything we could and left it on the the field," Dempsey said. "A lot of players got to play."
Helias hosts Quincy (Ill.) Notre Dame at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The Lady Crusaders won the contest 6-5 last season, the lone loss for Quincy Notre Dame in the past two seasons as it went on to win its second straight state title.
"They're going to come in here and want to get us," Dempsey said.
Helias won the JV game 2-0.
Abby Shepard and Kayla Yanskey scored the goals for the Lady Crusaders.