The Helias Lady Crusaders liked their start.
But when things started to get away from them against the St. Joseph's Academy Angels, there wasn't a lot they could do to stop it.
"I can talk about our first 20 minutes and how we stuck with our game plan," Helias coach Jay Hebenheimer said after the Lady Crusaders dropped an 8-0 decision Monday to the Angels at the Crusader Athletic Complex. "But that's a great team with a lot of talented players, solid across the board."
The Lady Crusaders came in with the plan to be defensive-minded against the Angels. After giving up a goal in the first two minutes, the Lady Crusaders frustrated the Angels by forcing them into several offside calls.
"We held and stayed firm," Hebenheimer said. "We stayed compact and tight."
But the Angels found their stride late in the half, scoring three times in the last 15 minutes to take a 4-0 advantage into intermission.
Helias had a chance to get one back in the final two minutes, but Izzy Luebbert's shot on a breakway was tipped away.
"We figured we'd get an opportunity or two, we just couldn't get everybody up to get set up to put the finish on them," Hebenheimer said.
Adalyn Koelling got the start in goal for the Lady Crusaders, the first for the freshman in place of injured starter Kaitlyn Buker.
"She stood the test, she did very well," Hebenheimer said.
But less than two minutes into the second half, Koelling was injured on a collision with an Angels player in front of the net and had to leave the game.
The Angels then scored four goals in a 12-minute span to end the game by mercy rule with 23:24 remaining.
"We knew they would be tough, we're not going to let ourselves get too down," Hebenheimer said. "It is what it is."
Helias (8-9) is back in action Wednesday night when Jefferson City pays a visit to the Crusader Athletic Complex. The varsity-only Central Missouri Activities Conference game will start at 6 p.m.
"That's the game everybody in town wants to see," Hebenheimer said.
On Saturday, Helias split a pair of games in the Central Missouri Soccer Invitational hosted by School of the Osage and Camdenton.
Helias opened with a 4-1 victory against Sikeston. Luebbert had two goals and an assist, while Mattie Rost and Molly Driscoll had one goal each. Arica Ketcherside had her first varsity assist in the game for the Lady Crusaders.
Helias wrapped up play in the tournament with a 1-0 loss to Ozark. The contest's lone goal came midway through the second half.