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The Helias Lady Crusaders had put together some good practices heading into Wednesday night's game against the Father Tolton Lady Blazers.

So Helias soccer coach Jay Hebenheimer decided it was time to cut back on managing things so much from the bench and let the Lady Crusaders figure things out for themselves on the field.

It was a productive plan.

"I let them know we were getting to the point of the season where they needed to take accountability for themselves," Hebenheimer said after the Lady Crusaders blanked the Lady Blazers 3-0 at the Crusader Athletic Complex. "The talk on the field was as good as it's been all season.

"And it was a lot quieter without my voice echoing all around."

Helias jumped out to an early lead when Danielle Buker scored off an assist by Molly Driscoll five minutes into the contest.

Driscoll then doubled Helias' lead about six minutes later.

Driscoll recently moved to an outside midfielder spot, switching spots with Caroline McCurren who moved to the inside.

"I think that's made us a little more dangerous at both spots," Hebenheimer said.

It was a good opening 15 minutes for the Helias offense.

"I'm hoping we can continue to play and possess the ball that way the remainder of the season," Hebenheimer said.

The Lady Blazers had a strong chance to cut into the Lady Crusaders' advantage about three minutes after Driscoll's goal. But the shot on the breakaway was turned away by Helias keeper Kaitlyn Buker.

"If they score early, the whole dynamic of the game likely changes," Hebenheimer said. "Tolton is dangerous with a lot of quick players up top, but Kaitlyn did a great job tonight."

Buker made another strong save midway through the second half to help preserve the shutout, her fourth of the season.

Helias added an insurance goal with about eight minutes left when Brooke Yanskey found the back of the net when a shot bounced off the hands of the Tolton keeper after making a save.

Even with the good result, it's not quite time for the Lady Crusaders to roll the ball out and just play.

"I'm not handing the reins over to them, but they want it and they are ready to do it," Hebeheimer said

Father Tolton is now 3-2 on the season.

The Lady Crusaders (5-3) will host the Helias Shootout this Friday and Saturday. A total of 10 games will be played both at the soccer field and Ray Hentges Stadium.

"We're trying to grow it," Hebenheimer said. "It's going to be a fun weekend with a lot of good teams."

Helias will face Borgia at 4 p.m. Friday and then take on St. James Academy of Lenexa, Kan., at 4 p.m. Saturday.

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