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      Helias soccer advances to title game

      BLUE SPRINGS -- For the first time in program history, the Helias Lady Crusaders will play for a state soccer championship.

      Kendall Smith's goal with just over 15 minutes left gave Helias the lead for good in a 2-1 win over Rosati-Kain in a Class 2 state semifinal contest. Becky Roberts also scored for the Crusaders, who advanced to the state title game for the first time in four tries.

      Roberts opened the scoring with 11 minutes left in the opening half. Helias nearly took the lead into intermission, but a rocket off the foot of Rosati-Kain's Sarah Gerwel tied the game with 19 seconds left in the half.

      "For us to gain the momentum back after the half shows the resilience of this team," Helias coach Brad Dempsey said. "I'm so proud of them right now. I'm happy for our ladies."

      Helias will play defending state champion St. Dominic in the Class 2 title game on Saturday. St. Dominic beat Helias 3-0 in last year's state semifinals and 1-0 earlier this season in Jefferson City.