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story.lead_photo.caption The Helias Lady Crusaders host Union on Monday, April 19, 2021, in Jefferson City. Photo by Tom Rackers / News Tribune.

The Helias Lady Crusaders knew it was going to be a tall task.

But they thought they had a chance against the Union Lady Wildcats.

"It was a well-contested match in which we did a lot of the things we needed to do to get a win," Helias coach Jay Hebenheimer said after the Lady Crusaders dropped a 3-1 decision Monday night to the Lady Wildcats at the Crusader Athletic Complex. "Unfortunately, we didn't do enough of them against a quality team that often goes deep into the postseason."

The Lady Crusaders had a chance to scout the Lady Wildcats during the weekend in the Helias Shootout. Union was 2-0 with wins against Sedalia Smith-Cotton (5-1) and Rock Bridge (2-1).

"We had a good game plan, we know what they're about," Hebenheimer said.

The Lady Wildcats are about senior Emily Gaebe, who had 26 goals entering the game, and Mya Minor, who had seven goals.

"We put a player on each of them and I think we did a good job of slowing them down," Hebenheimer said. "I'm not saying they didn't have opportunities, but they didn't have as many as they normally would have if we weren't ready for them.

"They are good, strong players up front."

Helias had the best opportunities early, but had a pair of shots turned away in the opening five minutes.

"If one of those gets in, things might have been a little different," Hebenheimer said.

Union got on the board with a little more than 13 minutes remaining in the first half. Minor had a shot stopped, but Gaebe was there to put back the rebound to make it 1-0.

With 6:37 left in the first half, Union had a player sent off after getting a red card and the Lady Wildcats played the remaining 46-plus minutes down a player.

But Helias wasn't able to take advantage.

Addison Williford of Union made it 2-0 with a goal midway through the second half. The Lady Wildcats then got a penalty kick goal by Maddie Helling less than a minute later to extend their lead to 3-0.

Helias got on the board with just under 12 minutes to play on a low liner from near the top of the box by Izzy Luebbert.

"Izzy got one back and that was good to see," Hebenheimer said.

Union, winner of nine straight games, improves to 12-1.

Helias (6-5) will host Sedalia Smith-Cotton in Central Missouri Activities Conference action at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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