QUINCY -- Quincy Notre Dame boys soccer coach Greg Reis admitted his team had been working on set pieces during recent practices.
However, he never envisioned them working as well as they did Wednesday night.
Murphy scored four goals, all on restarts, in QND's 5-2 victory over Quincy High School at Flinn Stadium. Murphy took a couple of restarts late in the game that didn't go in the goal, but they both were from 50 yards or more.
Murphy had not been taking most of the team's restarts until recently.
"Keegan (Klingele) has been taking a lot of them around the penalty box, but Mitch is deserving of calling the shots," Reis said. "I just sat there and enjoyed it."
When asked about Murphy's four-goal effort, QHS coach Ron Bridal actually called it a "five-goal effort."
He also noted the goal that Murphy scored in the first half of the first game between the schools on Sept. 5 at Advance Physical Therapy Field.
"You go back to early September to that screamer he hit to the far bar," Bridal said. "They had one kid who could beat us, and he beat us four times with four goals -- and then he got fouled in the box, which was a questionable call, for the fifth (a penalty kick). When you can't stop him, he's really good.
"We won't play a team on our schedule that will have a player of his caliber unless we make a really deep run in the postseason. He showed tonight why he's a Division I player. Those goals were awesome."
Lost in all of the hullabaloo over Murphy's game was the defensive effort by the Raiders against Quincy's Robby Phillips and Jaeden Smith in the second half.
Smith had three shots in the first 10 minutes of the game, and Phillips scored in the first half, but neither of them could get a quality look at the goal in the second half. Part of that was an effort by the Raiders' forwards to come back and double down defensively when the opportunity was there.
"That's how the system we play is set up," Reis said. "If you can get there to double team, then it's your job. We did a really good job just keeping them in front of us. When we dive in, we create a lot of problems for ourselves."
"They made sure Robby and Jaeden weren't running at them," Bridal said. "When they received the ball, they had to play the ball back."
The Blue Devils had four yellow cards in Wednesday night's game, giving them 17 for the season with two games remaining. An Illinois High School Association by-law notes that any team that gets 25 yellow cards during the regular season is ineligible for postseason play. QHS would have to pick up eight yellow cards in its final games against Normal West and Gateway Legacy to be kicked out of regional play ... The Blue Devils wore red jerseys for Wednesday's game as part of fundraising efforts for the Tri-State Warrior Outreach.