The Helias Crusaders got something out of the weekend.
They found their identity.
"We know who we are, we found our identity," Helias coach Jay Hebenheimer said after the Crusaders finished 0-3 in the Richard Wilson Classic at the 179 Soccer Park.
"We are going to be very defensive-minded going forward."
On Friday, Helias dropped a 5-3 decision to Sedalia Smith-Cotton to open the Classic. On Saturday morning, the Crusaders scored first against Carthage, only to see the Tigers answer with nine unanswered goals to win by the mercy rule.
That result decided what Helias was going to do in its last contest against Oakville.
"We didn't want what happened to us in the morning happen again in the afternoon and we did that," Hebenheimer said. "We parked the bus, played with our players behind the ball and moved forward in small increments."
For the most part, the strategy worked.
The contest was scoreless before Oakville got on the board with a little more than four minutes left in the first half on a goal by Gabe Hallsten.
"That was a soft one, we just got a little unorganized," Hebenheimer said.
But Hebenheimer liked what he saw out of the Crusaders in the first 40 minutes.
"If we can play the way we did predominantly in the first half, we will have success the rest of our season," he said.
The Tigers made it 2-0 midway through the second half on a goal by Isaac Lillard.
The Crusaders opted to change formations to try to generate a little more offense in the final 15 minutes. The Tigers scored two goals in a minute-span with about seven minutes remaining to make the final 4-0.
"It was a good bounce back for us from the morning," Hebenheimer said. "We struggle executing some times and we still have a lot of time this season to clean that up."
Conner Mudd scored for Helias against Carthage, assisted by Logan Wilson. Brendan Callahan had two goals against Smith-Cotton, one assisted by Ryan Crane. Helias' other score was an own goal.
Helias (2-9) is off until Tuesday, Oct. 5, when the Crusaders will host Father Tolton.