Raiders’ effort against Cardinals is sign they’re ready for postseason challenges


Quincy Notre Dame's Addie Flesch, left, battles Pleasant Plains' Miley Crow for possession during Monday night's game at Advance Physical Therapy Field. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Mark Thomas has never concerned himself with which side of the ledger the higher number exists, but he understands the preoccupation with wins and losses.

In the postseason, wins are all that matter.

Leading up to the postseason, they aren’t always the measure of progress.

“Sometimes when you look at a bigger perspective, you have to say, ‘Hey, look, we’re playing well,’” the first-year Quincy Notre Dame girls soccer coach said. “We’ve gotten beat by some better teams, but we’ve made strides in those games. That’s what we can take with us.”

Monday night was a prime example.

The Raiders held Pleasant Plains scoreless in the first half before surrendering a pair of second-half goals in a 2-0 loss at Advance Physical Therapy Field. Still, the effort was the kind of gritty, determined play needed to win in the postseason.

“We’ve played well and played hard, we just haven’t found ways to get some Ws,” Thomas said.

QND (11-12) will have a week off before playing for a Class 1A regional championship against either Auburn or Springfield Lutheran. 

“We have some time off to rest, tinker with some things, get some people who are little banged up healthy,” Thomas said. “Hopefully we’ll play well.”

Pleasant Plains (22-1) is the top-seeded team in its Class 2A sub-sectional and showcased some of its firepower in the second half with Bailey Leach and Elle Welker each scoring a goal.

“I thought we had some opportunities and really played pretty well,” Thomas said. “Their forwards were good and created some problems for us and eventually finished the one. The second goal was kind of a miscommunication, but those things happen. We just have to keep working on it.”

The Raiders will do so knowing they haven’t lost to a Class 1A program all season.

“Hopefully that will continue,” Thomas said with a smile.

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