|Highland Soccer Teams Tie Solid Opponents|
|PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior goalkeeper Nick Fischer had four saves in the 1-1 tie against Lexington Henry Clay on Saturday.|
The Bluebirds earned a man advantage in the second half of the game against the Lexington Henry Clay Blue Devils, a state semifinalist last season, after the Blue Devils earned a red card. But Highlands could not capitalize and the teams settled for a 1-1 tie. Henry Clay came into the game ranked third in the state in the Maher rankings.
"We learned a bit about ourselves," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "We've kind of adapted our formation in such as way to defend differently. This was team was very intentional about swinging the balls out wide. I think toward the last 10 minutes, we made some adjustments to put them under pressure so they weren't able to create the same opportunities."
Henry Clay (7-0-2) had outscored opponents, 18-1 on the season entering the game. Senior Elijah Stevie scored the lone Highlands goal in the first half for his first goal of the year. Junior Brayden Gillman tallied his fourth assist on the play.
Highlands had 13 shots with just two on goal. Henry Clay had eight shots with five on goal. Highlands senior goalkeeper Nick Fischer had four saves. The lone Blue Devil goal came on a free kick.
"I think they were looking to swing the ball around the back and play it over top most of the game," said Nick Cook, Highlands junior defender. "They really never had any chances over the top. Our goalie Nick Fischer was able to come out and collect most every ball. We were solid defensively. I hope we continue to get better."
Highlands takes on Covington Catholic on Monday. Game time is 7:30 p.m. in Park Hills.
Highlands 0, Carmel (Indiana) 0:
The Bluebirds took the 19th-ranked team in the country on Top Drawer Soccer in the Zionsville Invitational and came away with the scoreless tie. The Greyhounds cut 100 players from the program.
"They had a couple girls committed to Division I schools so we came out with kind of the underdog mentality," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "We played them well for 80 minutes. You always give up chances. But we made sure we didn't let one get in the back of the net. Overall, it was a great weekend. It was a giant step forward."
Highlands had 14 shots with nine on goal. Carmel had 11 shots with six on goal. Highlands junior Jasmine Rehberger had six saves. She said injured senior goalkeeper Maggie Hinegardner has been supportive of her this season.
"Our defense is really strong," Rehberger said. "I have 100 percent faith in (my teammates). Everyone does a good job cutting down (opponents') angles. There are some games where I have no action at all, which is a good thing. But when the shots do get by, I like to think that I'm always there."
Highlands plays Louisville DuPont Manutal in the Lexington Catholic Lady Knights Challenge Cup on Monday. Game time is 6 p.m.
Highlands Runs in Mason Invitational:
Both teams ran up at Pine Hills Lane Park. In the Girls Section II race, junior Maggie Schroeder took second in 19 minutes, 38.9 seconds. Highlands finished 16th with 380 points out of 26 teams.
The Highlands boys took 10th with 284 points. Freshman Sam Jones led the Bluebirds finishing 38th in 18:14.5.
Highlands runs in the Franklin County Invitational on Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park. It takes place in Lexington.