|Submitted Photo. The Highlands Middle School Golf team claimed state runner-up honors in Louisville on Sunday.|
|PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. The Highlands junior varsity soccer team celebrates a 3-2 win over Covington Catholic, 3-2 on penalty kicks in the 9th Region junior varsity tournament championship.|
The Cincinnati St. Ursula Bulldogs from Ohio's Girls Greater Catholic League put a lot of pressure up top. Their goal was to create short shot opportunities and disrupt the offensive flow of the Highlands Ladybirds at the minimum.
Highlands (15-2-1 overall) struggled with it in a 2-1 loss to the Bulldogs (6-4-3) on Saturday at Tower Park. The Bulldogs outshot the Ladybirds, 16-6 including 7-4 on goal.
"I told the girls you're going to feel like you're under attack," Wiefering said. "When that happens whether it's a clear or you play it forward, you have to be disciplined enough to win it. When she wins it, she should have nine, 10 options. What happened in that second half is I felt like we would clear it. If we did win it when we did clear it, out offense was still thinking defense. They weren't thinking about finding space. They were thinking about not getting scored on. When you play like that, you're going to get scored on."
Highlands junior goalkeeper Olivia McQueary started the game and made two saves. But senior Shannon Eaton came into the game when McQueary went down with an injury in the second half and made three saves. Bulldog senior goalkeeper Lucie Roberts made three saves.
St. Ursula has won three in a row including a 2-0 win over a fellow GGCL opponent that Highlands tied 1-1 on Sept. 6 in Mount Notre Dame. The Bulldogs handled the Notre Dame Pandas, 4-1 on Aug. 29, but lost to two other common opponent in Ursuline Academy, 4-1 on Sept. 21 and Louisville Sacred Heart, 4-1 on Sept. 2.
St. Ursula scored the game-winner with 3:11 left in the game on a throw-in. Xavier University commit Makenna Jordhal put it in to give the Bulldogs the win.
"That is frustrating because that is what we talked about and worked on in practice," Wiefering said. "We said it's very important to win the first one in the box. But it's even more important to win the second win. I'll have to watch film. I saw we didn't win the first one in the box and they got it back side. I believe the girl flicked it in. It was Notre Dame all over again with the way they scored. I believe what happens is they watch two girls going up as opposed to staying with their man. I don't know how else they can learn."
Highlands scored the first goal dribbling down the left baseline and the two leading point-scorers for the Ladybirds finished it off with 13:45 left in the first half. Freshman Ali Gessner found sophomore Lindsey Meyer for her 10th goal of the season and the seventh assist for Gessner. Gessner also has 12 goals for a total of 31 points on the season and Meyer has three assists for a total of 23 points on the year.
Before that, Highlands senior Sydney Ossege had a one-one-one opportunity with Roberts about 10 minutes into the game. But her shot caromed off the left post.
But the Bulldogs tied the game with 9:52 left in the half. Madalyn Canter put in a rebound when Highlands could not clear a shot in the 18-foot box.
The fouls called on both teams was nearly even. St. Ursula had eight and Highlands had seven. The only yellow card of the game came on the Bulldog coaching staff in the first half.
Highlands concludes the season Monday against Bishop Brossart (7-6-1). Game time is 8 p.m. at Tower Park.
Highlands goes 2-3 in JCIVT:
The Ladybirds left the Jefferson County Invitational Volleyball Tournament with a 14-14 mark going 2-3 in the tournament. They lost to Greenwood, 2-0 (25-22, 25-9) and Louisville Eastern, 2-0 on Friday. But Highlands beat Pleasure Ridge Park and Ballard on Saturday in addition to losing a tight one with South Oldham, 2-1.
Highlands takes on Boone County in Fort Thomas on Monday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Soccer, JV Boys:
Highlands 3, Covington Catholic 2:
Highlands won the 9th Region Junior Varsity Tournament on penalty kicks against Covington Catholic.
Golf, Middle School:
Highlands finishes second in state:
The Bluebirds showed their bright future with a second-place finish in the KPGA Middle School State Championship on Sunday at Louisville's Quail Chase Golf Course.
Highlands tied Gray Middle School with 245, but Highlands won the runner-up award as its top three scores outdid Gray. Taylor County won the championship shooting a 222 and Jay Nimmo shot a 70 on the 72-par course to earn medalist honors.
Highlands eighth graders Justin Gabbard and Luke Muller led the way shooting a 77 and 79 respectively. They both saw action on the varsity level. The other Highlands golfers were Joel Craft with 89, Jack Schneider with 92 and Isaiah Lampkin with 105. Like high school, the top four scores determine the team scores.