The Highland High School girls soccer team blanked the visiting Jerseyville Panthers 5-0 to score its first Mississippi Valley Conference victory of the season on Tuesday of last week at Glik Park.
Then last Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs followed that up by traveling to Breese and salvaging a 1-1 with Mater Dei.
Going 1-0-1 moved Highland’s overall season record to 4-8-1, while the victory at the Panthers improved the Lady Bulldogs’ MVC mark to 1-4.
Senior striker Morgan Sikora kept up her torrid scoring pace as of late, pumping in four of the Lady Bulldogs’ five tallies against Jerseyville, including the game-winning first marker. She then went on to net Highland’s only goal in the tie at Mater Dei.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
At press time, Sikora ranked first on the Lady Bulldogs in goals scored by a wide margin with 11, which was four more tallies than the rest of the team had scored combined. Nine of her 11 goals have come in the team’s last six matches.
Also in the win over the host Knights, Highland senior Mackenzie Kleinmann recorded the other goal and set up two of Sikora’s markers. It was Kleinmann’s second tally this spring.
Also for the Lady Bulldogs, freshman Katelyn Wills and sophomoe Alisse Koishor each picked up one assist.
“We worked well together as a team and connected a lot of passes which led to the goals scored,” Sikora said.
In addition, Highland senior goalkeeper Abbey Johnson denied all eight of the Panthers’ shots on goal. She and her defense teamed up to register HHS’ first shutout of the season.
In the second half against Mater Dei, Wills fed Sikora, who unleashed a rising blast into the upper netting for her 11th goal of the year. At press time, Wills paced the Lady Bulldogs with four assists and ranked second on the team in goals with four.
Between the pipes, Johnson turned aside 10 Mater Dei shots.
Later in the second half, Mater Dei’s Grace Chiarolanza got the equalizer to forge the tie.
“We were a little slow the first half, but came out really well the first 20 minutes of the second half and looked sharp,” said Highland coach Josh Oswald. “Katie Wills was able to find Morgan and Morgan was able to turn and get off a 22-yard shot that found the top of the net. We had a turnover in our backfield and (Chiarolanza) got an easy, free, open shot that chipped AJ.”