ROCHESTER, Ill. -- It's unlikely many people will enjoy the Labor Day holiday break more than the members of the Quincy Notre Dame boys soccer team.
The Raiders have played seven games in the past nine days, finishing a grueling start to their schedule with a 2-1 victory over Rochester on Saturday.
QND (5-2) will take the next two days off before it starts preparing for Thursday's showdown against Quincy High School.
Weary legs, physical play from the Rockets (18 fouls) and a lush grass field led to a slow start for the Raiders.
"We were really lethargic in the first half. We're just dead tired," Reis said. "We had a little more energy in second half, but the grass is really long and the game is just so slow -- and they're so physical.
"It's always a grind when you go over there."
Goals by Mitchell Murphy, both on restarts from Will Drew, provided the Raiders all the offense they needed.
Murphy scored with less than four minutes played when Drew sent a corner kick to the far post and the senior forward knocked it in. Rochester tied the score at the 20-minute mark when Payton Vinyard sent a through ball to Justin Meadows, who beat QND goalkeeper Griffin Kirn with his left-footed shot.
The Rockets (2-1) had a chance to take the lead late in the first half when Ben Whittaker was whistled for a foul in the penalty box, but the penalty kick was sent wide.
"I thought Ben beat the guy to the ball and toed it out with left foot, then he bounced into the forward, who fell down," Reis said. "I thought it was a bad call, but then their guy shanked (the penalty kick).
"What's really crazy is that we've given up three penalty kicks, and that's the third one that they've missed this year. It's weird. Hopefully Griff keeps it up. He's got a little mojo on them right now."
Murphy scored the game-winner in the game's 60th minute. A restart by Drew floated into the penalty box, and Murphy flicked it over the goalkeeper's hands before they collided.
QND 2, Rochester 1
19 Shots 10
9 Saves 10
12 Fouls 18
0 Offsides 2
4 Corner Kicks 3
QND 1 1--2
Rochester 1 0--1
QND--Mitchell Murphy (Will Drew), 4:00
R--Justin Meadows (Payton Vinyard), 20:00
QND--Murphy (Drew), 60:00