Story Matters

Story Matters

THE Official HHS Football Site

Friday, September 12, 2014

Highlands pulls off another 1-0 thriller over NewCath

Allen Ramsey Photo. Highlands goalkeeper Nick Breslin (center) makes a save down the stretch in the Bluebirds' 1-0 victory Thursday.

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Both teams needed a win in a bad way.

The host Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team sought its first win of the year while Newport Central Catholic had not won since Aug. 30 over a span of five games. The Bluebirds (1-6-3) came through with that win with another 1-0 victory Thursday over the Thoroughbreds (5-4-3) at Tower Park. NewCath has not beaten Highlands in the regular season since 2004.

“It’s a good mark for us,” said Matthew Winker, Highlands Head Coach. “We’ve had a growing season. So to get a win in there gives us the confidence to build and push forward. We can take some things from it.”

Both teams had been playing good enough defense to stay in games. But they had not been able to come through in the clutch. Highlands had scored just five goals entering the game and NewCath scored just three times since its last win, 1-0 over Lexington Lafayette.

“It feels really good. I’m so excited,” said Vadim Lightner, Highlands senior. “We try to be the best we can be. We can’t win all the games. It’s not been easy. But we’ll pull through it.”

The Bluebirds have been outscored 20-6 on the year while the Thoroughbreds have outscored the competition 19-12. The only game Highlands has lost bad is the 6-0 shutout to 2013 state runner-up Louisville Trinity.

“We’re still trying to figure out line-up situations and have a couple guys injured,” said Mike McDonald, NewCath Head Coach. “Highlands is a good team, despite what the record tells you. I’m not upset with the loss. We have to take lessons from it. We typically give them eight hours to think about the game. I told them that game is over and to forget about it.”

The game had a similar script to last year’s 9th Region championship. The Bluebirds won the title by the same score about a minute into overtime. Highlands lost to eventual state champion Lexington Dunbar in the elite eight of the state tournament.

Highlands scored the game’s only goal in the physical contest with 2:47 remaining when senior Devin DuPont put one in on the right side. The Bluebirds had several good attacks, but had a couple shots go wide. Winkler said he wants more shots from six to 10 feet away from the goal as opposed to 25-30 feet away.

“Devin is probably one of our two hungriest guys right now to get the win on the board,” Winkler said. “He had a lot of weight on his shoulders being a senior captain. Knowing what this meant to him and his teammates and to put the weight on his back and take some ownership for it, props for him to make the run and be in the right place at the right time.”

Highlands then had to withstand a couple NewCath free kicks just outside the attacking box. But Bluebird senior goalkeeper Nick Breslin stopped both of them. He saved all six NewCath shots on goal while Thoroughbred goalkeeper Paul Grosser made two saves.

“As a center defender, I try to keep everyone motivated,” said Adam Barbro, Highlands senior. “We try to push the defense into the offense and hope to come out with more goals. Nick (Breslin) is doing a great job back there keeping us up. We just have to win balls and hopefully, we’ll get better.”

The physicality of the game showed up in the stat sheets. Highlands had nine fouls and three yellow cards to six fouls and two yellow cards for the Thoroughbreds.

The Bluebirds return to action Saturday against North Oldham at 3:30 p.m. while the Thoroughbreds do not play again until Tuesday. They face Covington Holmes at 7:30 p.m.

No comments:

Post a Comment