Friday, September 11, 2009

Extra effort keeps Raiders soccer unbeaten

Published: 9/5/2009 Updated: 9/9/2009
Herald-Whig Sports Writer

Greg Reis knows not a lot of people thought the Quincy Notre Dame boys soccer team would still be unbeaten at this point in the season, especially with the schedule the Raiders play.

"I think they would have said you're crazy," the QND coach said.

There's nothing absurd, though, about how hard-nosed the Raiders have been.

QND rebounded from a one-goal deficit to tie Maine South 1-1 Saturday morning before playing Columbia (Mo.) Hickman to a scoreless tie in the afternoon during the 20th annual QND Tournament at the Paul Dennis Soccer Complex.

Hickman finished 2-0-1 to earn the tourney title, while QND went 1-0-2 to improve to 3-0-3 overall.

"We were a little sluggish at the start, but I thought we played well overall," senior sweeper Matt Witte said.

It helped to have some resiliency.

Maine South, which beat QND in each of its last three tournament appearances, led 1-0 before the Raiders' Ryan Riggs won a ball in the box off a throw-in and tucked the game-tying goal away in the second half.

"We never give up," QND defender Jon Grawe said. "We just play tough."

It's becoming the team's identity.

"It's nice for the guys to have to battle back," Reis said. "The didn't fold in. Despite being tired, they kept fighting and kept fighting and we were rewarded.

It set up a championship showdown with Hickman, which had beaten Maine South 2-0 Friday night and Macomb 5-0 Saturday morning to assure itself of no worse than a second-place finish.
The Kewpies nearly walked away with three victories, coming close to scoring three separate times in the final 15 minutes.

In the 65th minute, Hickman's Taylor Cox redirected a cross with his head, forcing QND keeper Brian Sakulenzki to make a diving save. In the 76th minute, a restart from the left wing was knocked to the top of the penalty area where the Kewpies' Cody Gordon blistered a shot that Sakulenzki saved.

Finally, with less than 40 seconds to play, Hickman's Colin Janicek slipped through the defense and had a one-on-one with Sakulenzki. However, his quick shot carried over the crossbar.
"We got a little lucky a couple of times," Reis said. "If you're going to go through a season and be successful, you're going to need some luck."

And a bench, too.

With senior midfielder Jake Darnell nursing an injury, Reis used his entire bench during the tournament and discovered several underclassmen -- sophomores Andrew Allen and Denver Bradley and freshman Nathan Dreyer for example -- can provide quality minutes.

"They came in and stepped up," Reis said. "We didn't see a dropoff in the level of play. So we got to experiment a little bit, put some guys in different places. What we saw was encouraging."
So was the effort of the defense.

Sakulenzki made seven saves overall, six in the second half, as Hickman increased its pressure the final 40 minutes. The Kewpies outshot the Raiders 14-5, attempting 12 in the second half.

"They are very strong going forward, both of them," Reis said of Hickman and Maine South. "So I think our boys have played well."


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Driving Directions

  • WAYNESVILLE : Take 63 South Towards Jeff City. Take US-54 W thru Osage Beach to Camdenton. Take MO Hwy 5 South to Lebanon , MO.Continue on MO Hwy 5 South to I-44 E towards Waynesville, MO. Take Exit 156, toward WAYNESVILLE/FORT LEONARD WOOD. Turn LEFT onto HIGHWAY H/I-44-BL/MO-H. Continue to follow I-44-BL.Turn RIGHT onto MO-17/W I-44-BL.1001 HISTORIC 66 W.
  • QUINCY TOURNAMENT IN QUINCY ILLINOIS: From Columbia Take 70 West to Kingdom City. Take 54 North to Mexico and then 54 east and north (54/19) to Laddonia. From Laddonia take 19 North to New London and then 61 North to Hannibal. When you get to Hannibal, you will need to take a right at the sign that says Quincy or to Illinois or to Springfield which is hwy 72 across the river. You will then pick up Highway 172 north to Quincy. In Quincy take the Broadway exit and go left.The fields we are playing on are located on State Street. The streets in Quincy that run West to East are numbered streets. The Mississippi River is to the West and the street numbers get higher the further East you go. When you enter from highway 172 the first street you will see is 48th street. Go left. At State St turn right and the park is a few blocks on the right. The Paul Dennis Complex is located on State between 36th and 48th street.
  • JEFFERSON CITY- 179 SOCCER PARK: Take 63 to Jeff City. Across the river take Hwy 50 toward Sedalia. Take the hwy 179 exit and turn right onto 179. The soccer park is about 3 miles on your left.
  • DESMET High school from CBC High school (about 3 miles): leave CBC and turn left (east) onto N Forty Dr. Turn right onto Conway Rd. Follow Conway Rd to left at S New Ballas Rd and it is about 1.2 miles to the high school at 233 N. New Ballas Rd.
  • CBC High school in St Louis: about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Take I-70 east to US40E/US61S just past Wentzville. Head toward Chesterfield/Forrest Park. About 23 miles to Mason Rd exit. Take S Mason Rd north back over the highway. Turn right on N. Forty Dr and the high school is on your left about a mile at 1850 De la Salle Dr.
  • CAMDENTON: Hwy 54 out of Jeff City to Hwy 5 in Camdenton. Turn left (east) on to Hwy 5. Continue on Hwy 5 for 5 or 6 blocks and can see the school campus on your left (north side of road). Turn on to Dare Blvd and the stadium is a block or two behind the schools.
  • SMITHTON TOURNAMENT: I-70 west to Booneville. Exit on Hwy 5 south. From Hwy 5 take Hwy 50 west. Go to Hwy W and turn south. Follow Hwy W into Smithton. Turn east on to E. Washington St. (I think this is a continuation of Hwy W), Turn right (south) on to Myrtle Ave and the school is 550 Myrtle Ave. Games are at the school.
  • ROLLA: Hwy 63 out of Jefferson City. Continue on Hwy 63 into Rolla. Turn left (east) on to 10th St. Continue on 10th St about 8 blocks to N. Cedar St. High School is at corner of N. Cedar and 10th St. Soccer field is behind the high school.