The Highland High School girls soccer team has not scored in two games, but the defense and goaltending has been the mainstay throughout and it helped the Lady Bulldogs push their unbeaten streak to 11 games after earning a scoreless draw with the visiting Mascoutah Indians Thursday at Glik Park.
Highland has not allowed a goal in five consecutive games and has only been scored on in two of the 11 games during the unbeaten streak that now sits at 8-0-3. The Bulldogs sport an overall record of 11-3-3 and are 3-2-2 in the Mississippi Valley Conference.
Mascoutah is also having a good season at 10-6-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the MVC.
Both teams had quality scoring chances. Highland rang up a couple blasts off the crossbar, once by sophomore Audrey Wilke in the first half and the other by junior Kallie Painter in the second half.
Senior Alisse Koishor, junior Katie Wills and sophomores Kate Marti and Jaqlyn Ferguson also had chances for the Bulldogs.
Both keepers did a good job of preserving the shutout with key saves as Danee Strong registered nine saves for the Indians while junior goalie Morgan Zobrist converted five saves for the Bulldogs, with a couple of key ones coming late.
“Of course we wanted the win, but they’re (Mascoutah) a good team and hats off to them,” Highland coach Josh Oswald said. “We’re just struggling a little bit right now from 25 (yards) and in, but we rang the crossbar twice and had a good high shots that their goalie (Strong) made good saves and didn’t give up rebounds. We had six or seven good chances, but just like baseball, sometimes you have little a slump batting average wise, and right now we’re not finding the back of the net. But we held the ball well and created some chances and I am happy with the way we played. We will start finding the back of the net again and we can still keep building off this. There are a lot of positives to take from this.”
Zobrist displayed again her strong play between the pipes, including putting the squeeze a crisp shot as time expired. The junior has racked up an eye-popping 11 shutouts and also boasts an impressive goals-against average (0.78) and save percentage (86.9). And her reliable defense — which includes Abby Melosi, Rachel Miller, Jaqlyn Ferguson, Megan Rapien, Megan Ramsey, Jaida Duncan — was also very good in front of her again.
“Morgan did fantastic today; she made a couple of big saves and came off her line to take some chances away,” Oswald said. “The defense was solid again, as they have been. Just all around, I thought we played a good game as a team and just unlucky on a couple of breaks and couldn’t find the back of the net.”
The HHS girls soccer team received the fourth seed in its sub-sectional and will compete in the IHSA Class 2A Civic Memorial Regional to be held at Bethalto Sports Complex. The Bulldogs will open the postseason with a semifinal game against host and sixth-seeded Civic Memorial at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16. That semifinal winner will most likely face top-seeded Chatham Glenwood, which should have no trouble dispatching of No. 7 Jerseyville in the earlier semifinal at 4 p.m. on May 16.
The regional championshp is set for 4 p.m. on Friday, May 19.