|Highlands Girls Soccer Loses on Penalty Kicks|
|Twitter Photo. Highlands senior Maggie Schroeder won the Class 2A, Region 4 meet Saturday in 18 minutes, 51.08 seconds.|
Highlands senior Maggie Schroeder ran away for an individual Class 2A, Region 4 cross country championship at the Mason County Athletic Complex.
The senior and 2018 individual Class 2A state champion won the race in 18 minutes, 51.08 seconds. Scott freshman Maddie Strong took second in 19:21.57 out of 44 runners.
Both Highlands teams finished region runner-up. The Highlands girls missed out on the region crown by a point with 49 to Scott's 48. The Highlands boys scored the same amount. But Lexington Catholic won it with 36 points.
"(Second) is important because the third teams are in a different tier at the state meet," said Brian Alessandro, Highlands Head Coach. "Those teams will start five minutes behind wave one, which is a disadvantage for trying to contend for top spots. I'm proud of the girls that stepped up to do that."
Six teams ran in the girls race. Eighth grader Adrienne Harris took ninth in 20:42.7 and senior Kayma Wolfinbarger finished ninth in 20:44.35 for Highlands. The other two scorers were sophomore Eden Brumer in 12th in 21:04.08 and sophomore Ruby Smith in 20th (19 points) in 21:37.76.
Seventh grader Isabella Neufarth and eighth grader Sarah Jones also ran in the race for Highlands. Neufarth took 31st in 22:54.68 and Jones 33rd in 23:13.53.
Senior Peter Laskey led Highlands finishing fifth in 17:15.57. Senior Will Griffith took eighth in 17:19.55 out of 55 runners.
The Highlands scorers finished in the top 13. Freshman Malcolm Robertson took 11th in 17:35.66, junior Sam Jones 12th in 17:40.91 and Sam Hopper 13th in 17:54.86.
Junior Thomas Gray-Torsell finished 17th for Highlands in 18:09.92. Sophomore John Laskey took 19th in 18:17.06.
The state meet takes place Friday at the Bourbon Cross Country Course in Paris. The Highlands boys race at 4 p.m. and the girls go at 5 p.m.
Lexington Catholic 1, Highlands 0 (4-3 on penalty kicks):
Highlands had a great season finishing 15-2-2. But the Bluebirds unfortunately lost in the two games that went to penalty kicks this year including the first round of the state tournament at Tower Park.
The Bluebirds had their chances to score during the game against the 11th Region champion Lady Knights (14-2-1). In the first half, a ball came out to sophomore midfielder Alyssa Harris on a rebound. Her shot deflected off the top crossbar and Lexington Catholic goalkeeper Kalee Opalka collected it.
In the second half, Highlands freshman forwards Claire Cavacini and Laney Smith had nice looks. But the balls could not find the back of the net.
Highlands put senior defender Kelsey Listerman in to defend the penalty kicks. She had good position on a number of the kicks. But some balls just above her hands.
The Bluebirds led 3-2 after the first three penalty kicks in the best-of-five scenario. Junior midfielder Faith Broering, Smith and junior goalkeeper Meg Gessner made their kicks. Sophomore Kylie May Stephenson and junior Emily Scanlon made their shots for LexCath. But Listerman blocked sophomore Olivia Bretz' attempt.
Sophomore Mary-Martin Hampton made her shot for LexCath. But Opalka blocked Cavacini's attempt tying things at three. After sophomore Katherine Truitt scored for the Lady Knights, junior defender Jade Rehberger's shot went wide right ending the game.
"The best advice we try to give is it's just your shot. You don't worry about what's happened before or what's going to happen after," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "You just worry about your shot and burying it and we had confidence in all five girls. Obviously we picked them. We've been practicing for three weeks. Sometimes, it doesn't go your way. I know any athlete has had trouble with things. We have no blame on any of our players. We were in the right position. It just didn't go our way."
The nine seniors helped the Bluebirds to three consecutive 9th Region championships. That is the first time in school history that happened. The nine seniors are Listerman, defenders Greta Noble, Kenzie Nehus, Anna Kidney, goalkeeper Jasmine Rehberger, midfielders Maggie Stieby, Jordan Steumpel and forwards Jenna Hartung and Katelyn Vaught.
Dean pointed out a huge example from a senior this year. This senior had to go help out one of the players who had car issues.
"The four years they have provided for our program have been incredible," Dean said. "I think each year, we keep getting better and better in terms of our senior class. When we first came in, we had four seniors. Last year, we had 10 or 11. Senior leadership is always going to be our big thing. But I think our girls that are younger learned a lot from our seniors not only in terms of soccer, but in life."
Highlands can build around its top four scorers next season in Smith (21 points and eight assists for 50 points), Broering (15 goals, six assists for 36 points), Bramble (six goals, nine assists for 15 points) and Cavacini (five goals, two assists for 12 points). Other key returning players are Harris and Jade Rehberger.
Highlands Volleyball Faces Cooper in Region Quarterfinals:
It is normally a tough region quarterfinal draw for the Bluebirds (13-7 overall) no matter the opponent.
Highlands knew it would not be Dixie Heights unlike the past three years after Dixie Heights won the 34th District for the first time in school history. The Bluebirds drew the 33rd District runner-up Cooper Lady Jaguars (12-4) Tuesday at Covington Holmes at 8 p.m.
The Bluebirds lost 3-1 (25-21, 27-29, 25-13, 26-24) at Cooper on Oct. 8.
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