Boys Golf Places in Top Third in Tournament
|PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior Jordan Frisk (13)|
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The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team (1-1 overall) knew this game would be a measuring stick to where it stood against solid programs early in the season.
The Louisville Ballard Bruins (2-0) from the rugged 7th Region comprised of the likes of Louisville Collegiate, Trinity and St. Xavier came to town for a crucial non-region battle. The Bruins have yet to advance out of the current 7th Region. But they do have nine state championships in school history, which is second in Kentucky history behind St. Xavier's 15.
This is a game that may have been talked about for a long time if it occurred in the postseason by fans that attended the game. Ballard came away with a 3-1 win. But it did not come without some controversy.
"With where we're at right now, there is a ton of good that came from (Saturday)," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "Our energy looked significantly better. We were just a stronger team overall and I feel like we figured out a few things with regard to just intensity and the physicality that we need in order to be successful at the level. We have some guys who are very technically sound. I think (Saturday) was the first that we realized the importance of just being quicker in anticipating and doing some of those little things."
Trailing 2-0 at halftime, Highlands senior Joel Kendall scored on a free kick with 38:20 left in the game to trim the margin to 2-1. Minutes later, the Bluebirds thought they tied the game on a scramble inside the Ballard box. The ball appeared to have gone completely over the line including reviews shown on replay before a Ballard defender cleared it. But the ones in charge did not rule it a goal.
With 27:04 left, Ballard senior Evan Brown put in a rebound to make the final score. Ballard outshot Highlands, 10-6 including 7-4 on goal. Highlands junior goalkeeper Connor Mathis made a dynamic save before the rebound.
The Bluebirds still had plenty of chances to tie the game. They had a 2-on-1 with 29:30 left in the game. But the shot from the left of the goal sailed high.
"We put guys in positions and try to make them make plays," Niedert said. "They capitalized on times we fell just a teeny bit short. We'll be better off because of this game for sure."
Brown scored twice to lead the Bruins with four points. Senior Sebastian Sanchez scored on a kick from the mark with 4:11 left in the first half to give the Bruins a 2-0 advantage.
Highlands plays St. Henry (1-1) in Erlanger on Tuesday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Bluebirds Place Sixth in Mason County Invite:
Highlands tallied a 312 at Laurel Oaks Golf Club in Maysville.
Junior Joel Craft led the way shooting 74. Freshman Hank Shick and senior Jack Schneider followed closely with 76 and 77 respectively. Freshman Oliver Golden shot an 85 to round out the scoring with freshman Nate Surrey shooting 91.
Highlands plays in the South Oldham Invitational on Aug. 21. It takes place at the Nevel Meade Golf Course in Prospect.
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