By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
After a tough loss at Maryville just four days prior, Bishop LeBlond wanted to come back strong at home and play a complete match against an intracity rival.
That they did.
LeBlond (10-2) got a hat trick from junior midfielder Noah Stevenson in the first half, and five more goals by the Eagles in the second half sent them to a 9-1 victory over Benton at Eagle Stadium Monday.
Stevenson put LeBlond on the board in the first 4:27 on an unassisted goal. He scored twice more in a nine-minute span to give his team a comfortable 3-0 lead early.
"We were getting really good through balls," Stevenson said. "I shanked a couple in the first (half) there and I had to make up for it. Yeah, I just kept my cool and put them in."
LeBlond got another goal in the first half from sophomore midfielder Davis Jungbluth. Benton (3-7) got on the board with 7:17 left in the first half with an unassisted goal from sophomore midfielder Ryker Wells.
The Cardinals, who lost to LeBlond 3-0 on August 31 in the city round robin, managed just two shots-on-goal Monday.
It took the Eagles a few minutes to get hot in the second half, but once they did, there was no turning back. A goal by senior midfielder Eli Spencer put LeBlond ahead 5-1 with 30:56 remaining.
Junior midfielder Aiden Seiter scored exactly 30 seconds after Spencer, and would get another goal just 59 seconds later, putting a surging LeBlond ahead 7-1.
"It was a fun game," Seiter said. "They played hard, we played hard. Teammates played the ball really hard. I was just there to finish."
Goals by senior defender Hayden Cross and sophomore striker Davis Jungbluth put the Eagles ahead 9-1, and the game was called with 11:33 still on the clock.
LeBlond stayed aggressive on the offensive end throughout, managing 18 shots-on-goal. Benton made a change at goalie halfway through the second half, subbing Ethan Colwell for Bradyn Hayes.
Hayes managed a couple of saves, but LeBlond scored on five of their seven shots-on-goal in the second half. A feel good win for a LeBlond team, which lost a 4-2 heartbreaker at Maryville last Thursday - a team that's also contending for an MEC title.
"It was a real confidence booster," Seiter said of Monday's match. "It helped us get our motivation back. I think we're going to go on and win these next couple of games as well. Hopefully beat Maryville in the end as well."
LeBlond, who will see Maryville again in St. Joseph on October 26, will go on the road Thursday to face Kansas City Lutheran.
Benton, who's lost four straight, will host Maryville on Tuesday.
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.