Seth Anderson happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
That hasn't happened often to the Quincy Notre Dame freshman.
Eight minutes into Wednesday night's game against the Quincy High School boys soccer team, QND's Mitchell Murphy played a corner kick to the far side of the box where the Raiders were able to win it and get a shot on goal with QHS keeper Jake Happel off his line. The net was seemingly wide open except for the fact Anderson was there to clean up any rebounds or such.
He just happened to be standing in the way of the shot.
"I saw it coming the whole way, but I don't know, I couldn't get out of the way," Anderson said.
The ball banged off Anderson's torso and the Blue Devils swung it out to the left wing. Peyton Stegeman collected it for QND and played a ball deep into the right corner where Murphy won it, dribbled inside and laced a left-footed shot off Happel's hands and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
It set the tone for the Raiders' 6-4 victory at Advance Physical Therapy.
Moreso, it allowed Anderson to forget about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"It took a ton off my shoulders," Anderson said.
He helped take the pressure off, too. Anderson scored two goals, including heading in a long throw-in from Murphy as the Raiders scored on half of their 12 shots.
"He more than atoned for it," QND coach Greg Reis said. "He's dangerous in the box. He's dangerous because he sees the game so well. He knows where to go. He has a good idea of where to put himself in a position to maybe have an opportunity. That's basically what he did."
Smith snaps out of funk
After scoring in 13 of the Blue Devils' first 14 games, junior forward Jaeden Smith had been stonewalled.
He hadn't scored in the last four games, three of which QHS lost. So Wednesday night was his chance to regain his scoring touch.
Smith scoredhis first goal nine minutes into the second half, pulling the Blue Devils within 5-2. He added a pair of goals on penalty kicks, the second of which pulled QHS within 6-4 with 11 minutes remaining. The Blue Devils were unable to scratch out another score to make the final few minutes more interesting.
"We have to work as a complete team," QHS coach Ron Bridal said. "We have to have all 11 kids doing what we need them to do."
That means not waiting for Smith to do something.
The hat trick was his fifth of the season and he now has 24 goals this season, but the Blue Devils have shown the ability to get other forwards involved. That will be crucial in the upcoming postseason as opponents try to limit Smith's touches.
Little shakes it off
Just before Colby Kapp got clipped and QND was awarded a direct free kick just outside the penalty area, Raiders senior forward Macker Little had gone down inside the penalty area after getting knocked in the head while trying to win a ball in the air.
Little stayed down for an extended period, clutching his head. Eventually, before a trainer could be called onto the field, Little got to his feet and remained in the game. That worked out quite well.
Little took the direct free kick, knocking around a wall of QHS defenders and whistling it into the goal for a 2-0 lead in the 18th minute.
Blue Devils look to regain rhythm
A weekend trip to Evansville, Ind., that resulted in a pair of losses didn't send QHS into a tailspin.
A trip to Burlington, Iowa, seems to have done that.
The Blue Devils and the Raiders both played in the Go 4 the Goal Fall Classic last weekend. QND went 2-1 and reached the championship game of its bracket. QHS went 1-2 and was shut out in its first two games, including losing to Whitefish Bay, Wis., which is now the No. 3 team in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Fall Fab 50.
A disappointing effort in Tuesday's 3-1 loss at Moline and Wednesday's loss to the Raiders meant the Blue Devils lost four times in seven days.
That's hardly the momentum they want to carry into the postseason, especially as the No. 2 seed in the sub-sectional and the top-seeded team in the Class 3A Springfield Sectional. The Blue Devils have two regular-season games remaining -- against Normal West at home Saturday and at Jefferson City, Mo., next Thursday.