|Highlands Girls Soccer Picks Up Huge Win in Park Hills|
|PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands girls soccer team rallied past Notre Dame, 3-2 Saturday in Park Hills.|
In the final 20 minutes, the Bluebirds (11-4 overall) stayed undefeated at 7-0 in 9th Region action with a 3-2 victory over the seven-time defending region champion Notre Dame Pandas (9-4-2) in Park Hills.
Highlands has beaten Notre Dame in four of the previous five meetings during the regular season. It's the postseason that has been a different story. The Pandas have won five in a row against the Bluebirds when it counts the most including a tough 1-0 win at Tower Park in the 9th Region championship in 2016.
"It's been preached all year. Obviously, everybody says, 'Never give up,' but we do it throughout the whole year," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "We're going to keep on saying until it gets to postseason time. This is a fantastic win, but we can't get too excited about it because it is just a regular season game. Hopefully, when we see them again, we can review some different things and maybe change and make it look better. Let's get better through the week."
Highlands senior Lindsey Meyer came through with the two goals in the clutch. The game-winner came with about two minutes, 30 seconds left. Meyer has 17 goals and six assists on the year for 40 points on the season.
Meyer has more than put together a career worthy of the Highlands Hall of Fame among others one day ranking up there with the great names in program history. Meyer tied former Highlands assistant and 1999 graduate Stephanie Sandfoss-Graves' career total of 64 points with the two goals. Meyer also has 35 assists on the year for a career total of 163 points. That is four points shy of Graves' school record 167 points.
The first goal that tied the game at 2-2 came off an assist from senior Gwen Gorman. That marked the third assist of the season from Gorman.
Sophomore midfielder Lauren Carothers and sophomore forward Ava Quigley put Notre Dame up 2-1 with the goals. That marked the fifth and fourth goals of the season for them respectively.
Highlands took the lead 1-0 early in the game when sophomore Kenzie Nehus scored on an assist from sophomore Greta Noble. That marked the sixth goal of the year for Nehus, who celebrated a birthday Saturday, and fifth assist by Noble. Nehus also has five assists this year for a total of 17 points good for third behind Meyer and junior Maria Wiefering (nine goals, seven assists for 25 points).
"Scoring that first goal gave us more momentum," Nehus said. "Even though they scored two goals later on, it didn't hold us back. They're going to get to the ball quickly. But we have to get to it quicker if we want it."
Highlands wound up taking 12 shots with 11 coming on target. Notre Dame recorded five shots including four on goal. But Bluebird junior goalkeeper Maggie Hinegardner made three saves including some tough ones.
"To come back and beat a team like Notre Dame is always good," Hinegardner said. "We do really try to make every second count. That really shows with a lot of our last-second goals. We just kept fighting even though we got down."
The game had its usual physical play. Highlands had seven fouls to five for Notre Dame.
"We're starting to contain more," Dean said. "I know they scored off the cross. But we're going to work on making sure we attack the ball with a little more emphasis on not just being there, but going through it. If we're able to do that, hopefully we can improve a little more on defense. But the defense did great (Saturday). They gave up two goals, but they fought to the end and closed out the game for us."
Highlands takes on Dayton on Wednesday at Tower Park. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Hamilton Southeastern (Indiana) 1, Highlands 0:
The Royals from near Indianapolis scored in the first three minutes and made the lead stand handing the Bluebirds (12-1-2 overall) their first loss of the season. Hamilton Southeastern came into the game ranked sixth in Indiana in the Maher rankings while Highlands found itself ranked third.
The Royals had 14 shots including six on goal to nine shots with four on goal for the Bluebirds. Senior Will Burnham played the first half for Highlands and recorded three saves. Junior Nick Fischer played between the pipes in the second half and recorded two saves.
Highlands takes on Bishop Brossart at Pendery Sports Park on Tuesday. Game time is 5 p.m.
Highlands plays in KCGA Invitational:
The Bluebirds finished fifth in the tournament at Lakeside Country Club in Lexington in the final tune-up before the Region 8 Tournament on Tuesday at AJ Jolly Golf Course in Alexandria. Highlands shot 320 as a team.
Sophomore Justin Gabbard led Highlands shooting a 77 and fellow sophomore Luke Muller finished two behind at 79 good for 13th and 18th respectively. Senior Ryan Leigh and eighth grader Joel Craft shot 81 and 83 respectively to finish off the Bluebird scoring. Senior Steven Grimme also participated shooting a 94.
Louisville Ballard and Lexington Lafayette tied for the top spot in the tournament. They both shot 306. A total of 15 teams participated.
Football, Junior Varsity:
Highlands 47, Simon Kenton 13:
The Bluebirds rolled to 6-0 with another convincing win in Independence. The average margin of victory for Highlands is just under 39 points per game.
Junior quarterback Collin Hollingsworth threw five touchdown passes and ran in another one. Junior linebacker Nelson Bibb recorded a pick-six.
Highlands has a bye week next week like the varsity before playing host to Dixie Heights on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 10 a.m.