Highland senior Cory Stieb made his final home game a memorable one when he scored in double overtime to lift the Bulldogs to a 1-0 upset victory over visiting Mascoutah to end the regular season Thursday at HHS stadium.
After Highland was shut out through regulation for the third consecutive game, Stieb unleashed a high blast from about 20 yards out with about seven minutes remaining in the second OT that ripped the back of the net. It was Stieb’s third marker of the year.
“We kept going back and forth with Mascoutah but nobody seemed to be able to score,” Stieb said. “With about seven minutes left in double overtime, Andrew Roach passed me the ball at the top of the box and I let it fly. After the ball went in the net, the crowd went crazy and all my teammates jumped on me. I couldn’t believe that it actually went in.
“I could hear all the fans cheering and then my mom (Tammy Stieb) announced the goal over the speakers. The whole situation was so surreal being able to score the winning goal on my senior night..”
With junior keeper Riley Field still not cleared to play due to a concussion, senior Robert Sigman got a rare start in goal and took full advantage as he dismissed all seven of Mascoutah’s shots, including three or four really good saves.
In addition, Highland coach Josh Oswald said juniors Evan Dapkus and Jack Ruffini did a good job marking the Indians’ top scoring threats, Malik Wilkes and Sam Schiller. The Mascoutah high-scoring duo entered the game with 29 goals apiece.
“I was extremely happy for the boys, especially the six seniors,” Oswald said about Stieb, Sigman, Evan Herman, Andrew Roach, Drake Gehrs and Blake Hagler. “It was a great game and an exciting game for everybody to watch. We had a decent crowd in the stadium and the kids were pumped to play on senior night in the stadium under the lights. It was a total team effort. It was a pretty special night, especially for the seniors.”
Highland finished the regular season with an an even 5-5 Mississippi Valley Conference record and 9-11-1 overall. The loss was only sixth of the season for Mascoutah (18-6).
Waterloo swept its way to the MVC championship with a perfect 10-0 record. Triad was second at 7-3. Mascoutah wound up third at 6-4, Highland and Jerseyville tied for fourth place with an even 5-5 mark, and Civic Memorial rounded out the conference at a winless 0-10.
Highland will have a very tall order if it wants to survive its first playoff game in the IHSA Class 2A Mascoutah Regional. The Bulldogs are the eighth seed and and will face top-seeded and still undefeated Columbia (22-0-2) at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17. The Eagles flew by Highland 6-1 on Sept. 11.
The other regional semifinal pits No. 4 Mascoutah against fifth-seeded Triad at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18.
The regional championship game is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.
O’Fallon 5, Highland 0
On Monday, Oct. 9, The Bulldogs were shutout for the second straight game and for the seventh time overall this season. The Panthers followed up a three-goal outburst in the first half with a pair of goals after halftime.
Jordan Ellis netted a pair of goals while Quincy Land, Caleb Engel and Adam Hudder each added one goal.
Ben Koenig supplied two assists and Engel, Liam Dixon and Grant Appel all had one assist apiece.
In addition, Appel made all four saves to earn the shutout for O’Fallon
In goal for Highland, Destin Vogel allowed three goals while making three saves and Robert Sigman gave up two goals and had three saves.