Highland: Sports

Lady Bulldogs blank Panthers 2-0 for second time this season

The Highland High School girls soccer team shut out Jerseyville 2-0 for the second time this season, this time in a Mississippi Valley Conference road game on Thursday.

The Lady Bulldogs, who recorded their third shutout of the season, first beat Jerseyville by the same 2-0 count on March 16 at Columbia as part of the Metro Cup Tournament.

Highland improved to 4-1-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference. HHS' only defeat came against MVC rival Waterloo, which is one of the better teams in Southern Illinois.

Highland has only allowed nine goals in its six games, and seven of them came in the loss to Waterloo.

After playing to a scoreless draw with winless Jerseyville (0-6-1) through the first half on Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs found the back of the net twice in the final 40 minutes.

Highland's first goal came off a dead-ball corner kick. Senior midfielder Kallie Painter served it up, and junior striker Audrey Wilke timed it perfectly with a header for the only goal the Bulldogs would really need. It was Wilke's first marker of the season after leading HHS in goals last season. Wilke has had to battle a nagging groin injury in the early going this season.

Painter then notched her second goal of the season after pounding a free kick into the back of the net from about 30 yards out to tack on an insurance tally.

Senior goalkeeper Morgan Zobrist denied all four Panther shots on goal to nail down her third shutout of the year.

"In the first half, we were sluggish, and in the second half, we made a few adjustments, and the flow of the game got much better," Highland coach Josh Oswald said. "Morgan and the defense had the shutout on four saves from Morgan. Audrey scored a beautiful head ball goal off a corner kick from Kallie. Then Kallie hit a free kick from 30 out to make it 2-0."

Highland competes next in the Mater Dei Tournament, where the Lady Bulldogs will face Father McGivney on Wednesday and Wesclin on Friday.