The Helias Crusaders were hungry for a victory.
"We needed this tonight," Helias coach Jay Hebenheimer said Tuesday night after the Crusaders blanked the Father Tolton Trailblazers 2-0 at the Crusader Athletic Complex. "We won't be defined by what has happened so far this season, it's how we play the rest of the way that will do that.
"The boys responded tonight and that's all I can ask from them."
The Crusaders, battling several key injuries, had been in a bit of a down cycle in recent games. Helias was coming off a 2-1 loss last week at Mexico.
"We had a long talk after that game about being tired of the trend we were on," Hebenheimer said. "We wanted to change that mentality as a team and that started tonight."
The Crusaders played well in the first half, outshooting the Trailblazers 10-4. But the game went into intermission scoreless.
Helias got on the board a little less than nine minutes into the second half. Tolton was whistled for a foul in the box and Luke Hynes converted on the ensuing penalty kick to give the Crusaders the lead.
The Crusaders picked up an insurance goal with about seven minutes remaining on a score by Zach Paschal.
The score capped a pretty good offensive game for the Crusaders, who totaled 19 shots, including eight on goal.
"All we've been working on in the past week is connecting on our passes and working together as a unit," Hebenheimer said. "I think that work showed tonight, we attacked so well."
Defensively, the Crusaders were strong as well as Ben Rehagen made eight saves in picking up the shutout in goal.
"Ben's confidence has been down a little bit with the losses," Hebenheimer said. "This game should give him a big boost."
The Crusaders and Trailblazers split a pair of contests this season. Tolton defeated Helias 2-0 late last month in the Richard Wilson Classic at the 179 Soccer Park.
"It was a different game this time because we were on the turf instead of grass," Hebenheimer said. "We're a fast team and playing on the turf really is an advantage for us."
The Crusaders are now 6-10-1.
"We're coming out of our funk a little bit," Hebenheimer said. "We're getting healthier and that helps."
Helias will host Missouri Military Academy on Thursday night. The JV game, which will be limited to one half, will start at 5 p.m. The varsity contest should begin around 6 p.m.