Story Matters

Story Matters

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Friday, September 11, 2020

Thursday Highlands Sports Roundup

Bluebird Soccer Records First Win of Season

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior Max Farris thinks before striking the ball on a free kick in a recent game.

The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team took care of business in one half Thursday in an 11-0 win over the Covington Holmes Bulldogs.

Highlands (1-0-1) had 23 shots with 16 on goal to just one shot for the Bulldogs (0-1). Sophomore Caden Schroeder had two goals to lead the Bluebirds.

"We were able to settle in and focus on what our 2020 team to look like going forward," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "We actually met during lunch. We got on a Microsoft team meeting together and did some team goal setting, which we typically do well before our first game. It opened up some conversations. It got our ambitions more team-oriented. Guys made good decisions on the field."

All 21 players saw action in the victory. Brayden Gillman, Peyton Helminiak and Carter Smith had one goal and one assist each for three points. Max Farris, Ben Fischer, Austin Frazier, Jordan Frisk, Joel Kendall and Nick Robinson had the other goals. Jack Banks, Sam Jones, Cole Lorenzen and Colin Piper added assists.

"We put a lot of people in different positions that we don't typically have them because our lead was so high," said Hank Slaby, Highlands senior defender. "It's really helpful to know who can play where and what everyone's capabilities are, especially with people like Jack Banks, who has played a bunch of different positions throughout his high school career."

Highlands plays Newport Central Catholic on Tuesday. Game time is 8 p.m.

Highlands 3, Simon Kenton 2:

The Bluebirds (2-0) came through the tough game in Independence. After losing the first game, 25-18, they won the next two games 25-17, 25-23. The won the fifth game 15-10 after losing the fourth game 25-22.

Highlands had 60 kills, five blocks including a solo one from junior middle blocker Avery Cavacini, 60 assists, 73 digs and 10 aces. Senior defensive specialist/setter Maria Little had 28 assists, seven digs and three aces.

"It was really awesome. It's never fun to feel like you're on the wire, but this year our team (is) young in certain positions battled," said Katelyn Sallee, Highlands Head Coach. "Simon Kenton is always tough. Every year, we have incredible battles. They're strong in certain areas we're not always strong in. It was a good night."

Senior setter Laura Winkler led Highlands with 28 assists, 13 kills and 14 digs. Junior middle blocker/right side hitter Lauren Buemi had 15 kills and two blocks with junior middle blocker/right side hitter CC Shick recording 12 kills and two blocks. Junior defensive specialist Madison Clore had 21 digs and an ace. Junior outside hitter Nicole Ossege had nine kills and three digs.

"We had to push ourselves to get in the right mindset," Clore said. "We all just had to connect as a team and push each other. That's why we won the game because we had energy and we were all supporting each other."

Highlands plays two games in the September Slam Tournament at Scott on Saturday. The first game is against Simon Kenton at 10:30 a.m. with the second at 1 p.m. against the hosts.

Soccer, Girls:
Highlands 1, East Central (Indiana) 1:

Like last season, the Bluebirds (1-0-1) tied the Trojans (7-1-2).

Highlands recorded 14 shots with four corners and three free kicks. But only freshman Laney Smith on an assist from junior Faith Broering scored the lone goal for the Bluebirds with 27 minutes left in the first half. Smith leads the Bluebirds with three goals on the young season.

"Going in, we told the girls that this is the middle of their season. We stated they're the better team just because of how many games they've played," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "We had the underdog mentality like we've had the past two years. We gave up a goal that was based on communication. We addressed that at halftime and corrected that. It's all about competing for us."

Highlands is still figuring some things out at various positions. Senior Kelsey Listerman started in the back after being listed as a potential forward in the preseason.

"I think the gelling of the team has been really good," Listerman said. "We have really good communication and we do a really good job of covering each other and allowing girls to go up-field to make plays. That's something that's stood out in the back line for sure."

East Central took seven shots on goal. Senior goalkeeper Jasmine Rehberger recorded six saves.

Highlands travels to Notre Dame (2-0) on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.

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