The Highland High School girls soccer team’s 2-0 win over the host squad Tuesday, May 16 at the Bethalto Sports Complex not only punched its ticket to Friday’s championship of the IHSA Class 2A Civic Memorial Regional, but the Lady Bulldogs also made some team history.
It was just the second postseason victory in the program’s history. In addition, junior goalie Morgan Zobrist and her very reliable defense recorded their 14th shutout of the season, which ties the school record for shutouts in a season first established by Mariah Klenke in 2010. Klenke went on to star for four years of college ball at the University of Tennessee at Martin and now serves proudly in the U.S. Marines.
“Kudos to these ladies on both achievements and the chance to continue to keep playing,” said Highland coach Josh Oswald, whose team went on to fall 3-0 to Chatham Glenwood in the regional championship game on Friday to finish the season with a 14-6-3 record.
Highland junior Katelyn Marti scored off an assist from sophomore Jaqlyn Ferguson in the 29th minute against CM for her sixth marker of the season, which ranks third best on the team.
Freshman teammate Sam Hengehold Wilke made it 2-0 in the 55th minute with a penalty kick for her second goal of the year and that was more than the Bulldogs really needed.
Zobrist had to smother a key save early in the game after CM also rang a shot off the crossbar, but her team and her reliable defensive unit settled in, and she only had to make two saves the entire game. The key participants on defense include Abby Melosi, Rachel Miller, Megan Rapien, Megan Ramsey, Ferguson and Jaida Duncan.
In addition to her eye-popping 14 shutouts, Zobrist has also posted impressive season numbers of an 0.83 goals-against average and an 85.7 save percentage.
“I think we played a solid game,” Oswald said. “They (CM) had a couple shots from distance and hit the crossbar early in the first half, and I think that kinda woke us up and we played solid from there. The girls were really communicating and moving off the ball our possession was outstanding again. It obviously starts with Morgan between the pipes, but the defense in front of her deserves some credit, as does the entire team.
“Because of our possession, we are really able to limit other teams shots and scoring chances. But I’m ecstatic for Morgan and excited for the group in front of her. Quite accomplishment when you can get 14 shutouts in a season and tie a school record. Something they can all be proud of.”