QUINCY -- Peyton Stegeman is learning just how much depth the Quincy Notre Dame boys soccer team actually has.
It's more than he expected.
With two starters forced to sit for extended periods during Saturday's two games in the QND/Quincy Recycle Tournament at Advance Physical Therapy Field, the Raiders went deep into their bench to help keep players fresh under the scorching afternoon heat.
It allowed QND to rebound from a 1-0 loss to Ladue Horton Watkins by beating Rock Island 2-0 and finish the weekend with two victories in three games.
"I liked our effort a lot of the time," said Stegeman, a senior midfielder. "I like how our bench played, especially in the Rock Island game. They were playing high quality."
Stegeman scored the second goal against the Rocks just three minutes into the second half, giving the Raiders a little bit of breathing room that allowed QND coach Greg Reis to go deeper into his bench.
Freshman midfielder Ben Frericks and freshman defender Cayge Hughes saw extensive minutes and held their own.
"I didn't know we had freshmen who could play this year," Stegeman said. "They really impressed me this weekend."
The contributions weren't limited to the underclassmen on the bench.
Junior forward Chance Bailey gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead against Rock Island when a ball from the right corner was played back to wing defender Gunner Kurk, who swung the ball at the goal. The ball hit the left post and bounced right to Bailey, who finished for his first goal of the season.
"That was a great ball right off the post," Bailey said. "I got lucky, and it bounced right to me."
The goal in the 23rd minute allowed the Raiders to dictate play.
"I hate falling behind early and having to crawl your way back," Bailey said. "It's so much easier to defend the lead from the get-go."
That wasn't the case against Ladue or Jefferson City Helias in Friday night's tourney opener. Helias scored twice in the first eight minutes, and QND was forced to rally for a 3-2 victory.
Ladue scored in the first half Saturday morning and held off a late charge from the Raiders.
QND had the tying goal waived off on an offsides call late in the second half. The Raiders played the second half without senior forward Mitchell Murphy, who was nursing an ankle injury.
"I thought we worked our tails off and created some great chances late in the game," QND coach Greg Reis said. "A call one way or the other, or a guy squirts through and gets a lucky touch, and maybe the outcome is different. But we created chances, and that's the thing I was happiest about."
He was encouraged with how the Raiders maintained their intensity despite using numerous players in both games.
"I see a lot of potential there," Reis said. "It's nice to be deeper three games into it instead of waiting 15 or 16 games to develop that. If we can keep developing the young guys in games like this that are rough, high-paced heat games, we can rotate a lot of guys in and not take the wear and tear and a beating on us."