The Highland High School girls soccer team broke out of its two-game scoreless drought to post a 3-0 victory over visiting Civic Memorial on May 2 at Glik Park and extend its unbeaten streak to 12 games at 9-0-3.
However, Lady Bulldogs’ unbeaten streak came to an end in a 2-0 loss to visiting Alton on Friday at the HHS football stadium.
Highland (12-4-3 overall) improved to 4-2-2 in the Mississippi Valley Conference with the win over CM. The Bulldogs dominated the possession and applied sustained pressure from beginning to end. HHS junior goalie Morgan Zobrist only had to make two saves in order to record her and the team’s sixth consecutive shutout, 12th overall this season.
Sophomore Audrey Wilke, junior Katelyn Wills and freshman Ashlen DeLuca each scored a goal for the Lady Bulldogs, who also got two assists from sophomore Katelyn Marti and one from junior Kallie Painter.
“Those were three nice goals, and we created some chances again,” Highland coach Josh Oswald said. “We weren’t really tested too much, and the couple of times we were, Morgan did fine. Our possession was key, and I think we really wore them out in the second half. That enabled us to keep the ball a little bit more, and obviously, limit their chances, because they were winded from running around chasing us. So our possession was good, especially in the first 10 minutes to open the game, and then after that, I thought we played good the rest of the game.”
Zobrist and her defensive corps of Abby Melosi, Rachel Miller, Megan Rapien, Megan Ramsey, Jaqlyn Ferguson and Jaida Duncan have only surrendered two goals during the unbeaten stretch that has reached 12 games.
With 8:07 left in the first half, Marti drilled a shot off the crossbar and Wilke was right on the doorstep to cash in on the rebound and elevate her team-leading goal total to 13.
“We rang two crossbars again right away so it was like, ‘Oh no, not this again,’ but Audrey was able to follow the second one, and we came away with three nice goals,” Oswald said.
The Bulldogs notched a big insurance goal just 2:47 into the second half when Marti fed a nice square pass to Wills in front of CM’s goal and Wills jammed it in for her third marker of the season. It was Marti’s fourth helper of the year, which is tied for second on the team.
Then about 2 1/2 minutes later, Highland put the game out of reach as Painter sent a square pass to DeLuca and chipped a high blast from at least 30-35 yards out that buried itself in the near corner of the upper netting for her first career varsity goal. Painter also raised her team-best assist total to nine.
“It was nice to see her take a chance,” Oswald said. “We’ve been trying to get her to take more shots from back there, and it was a good setup from Kallie.”