The Highland soccer Bulldogs went 4-1 in a five-game stretch in as many days last week.
First, the Bulldogs traveled to Bethalto and blanked host Civic Memorial 3-0. Next on Thursday, Highland traveled to Troy and shut out the host Knights 3-0 to raise its Mississippi Valley Conference record up to 6-1 prior to hosting Jerseyville on Tuesday for Senior Night at the HHS football stadium.
The Bulldogs then competed in the Gateway Classic and went 2-1 in three games in a two-day span. First on Friday, Highland was edged by Kirkwood 2-1 at Lou Fusz Soccer Park in St. Louis. The Bulldogs then hosted two games on Saturday, first doubling up Parkway West1-0 in the morning before trouncing Belleville Althoff 5-1 later on in the afternoon.
Going 4-1 hiked Highland’s overall ledger up to 11-4-1.
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“What a week, five games in five days (four games in three days) and we have some tired boys who pushed through and came away with a 4-1 record in those five days, with the only loss being 2-1 to a very good Kirkwood team,” Highland coach Josh Oswald said. “We beat Parkway West 1-0 and then Althoff 5-1, but if not for a questionable PK, the boys would have come away with two more shutouts. Nonetheless, we got the win.”
HHS 5, Althoff 1
The Bulldogs never trailed, scoring the match’s following up a 1-0 halftime lead with a four-goal flurry after the break to cruise to an easy victory.
Senior midfielder Brendan Schrage netted a hat trick, including the game winner for his second tally of the game. He raised his season total up to seven markers.
Senior striker Lucas Ammann chipped in a goal and two assist while fellow senior striker Brent Rapien added one goal and one assist. Ammann has scored five goals and is tied for the team lead with junior forward Evan Herman with five helpers. Rapien has pumped in nine goals and has dished out four assists.
Herman, who also leads the team with 10 goals, chipped in one assist and senior goalkeeper Luke Jones dismissed six shots on goal to earn the win between the pipes.
Highland 1, Parkway West 0
In the first half, Schrage notched the game’s only goal off an assist from Herman while Jones turned aside three shots on goal to increase his shutout total to six.
Andrew Engelmeyer made five saves for the Parkway West Colts.
Kirkwood 2, Highland 1
Schrage gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 at the the half and Highland had three or four other quality chances in first half. But in the second half, Kirkwood (10-4-1) got the better of the play and ended up goals from Joe Connelly and Cam Saunders to earn the win.
Alec Redington had four saves for the Pioneers while Jones had two saves for the Bulldogs.
“What a game. It was fun to watch two good teams go at it,” Oswald said.
Highland 3, Triad 0
The victory not only allowed the Bulldogs to sweep the Knights (8-8, 3-3), but it also allowed Highland to put the finishing touches on a 9-1-1 stretch.
In addition, Jones and the defense recorded its second straight shutout. Jones only had to register two saves in order to earn the shutout. In contrast, Triad goalie John McGee had to make 11 saves just to keep his team somewhat in the contest.
But Highland, who was without Rapien and fellow senior Ollie Pfeiffer, was able to break through three times, with Herman putting in the only goal HHS really needed before halftime. Herman and Schrage then each added one goal after the half to give the Bulldogs some breathing room.
Highland 3, Civic Memorial 0
The Bulldogs also swept the Eagles (6-8, 0-7) in dominant fashion as Jones again just needed to make two saves while CM keeper Jacoby Robinson was bombarded en route to amassing 24 saves.
Rapien scored the game-winning goal before halftime and Schrage and Herman tacked each tacked on a goal in the second half.
Additionally, Ammann and junior Drake Gehrs each had one assist.