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Friday, October 18, 2019

Bluebirds Drive Back to Region Title Game

Highlands Wins Third Straight Region Semifinal Contest


PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team celebrated another 9th Region semifinal win Thursday, 1-0 over Covington Holy Cross at Dixie Heights.
It doesn't matter if the wins come by the slimmest of margins.

For the Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team (15-5-4 overall), the only thing that matters is finding ways to win. The 36th District champion Bluebirds took down the 35th District champion Covington Holy Cross Indians (12-9-3) by that slim 1-0 margin Thursday in the 9th Region semifinals at Dixie Heights.



"I think the best things for us is we've been here," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "We showed a little bit of maturity at the end of the game where I think in years past or in previous games, we would have tried to push two or three because we felt that should have been the case. But we kind of killed the game off and did what we needed to do to get the result."

Highlands will play in the 9th Region championship game for the third straight year Saturday back at Dixie Heights. The opponent will be the Covington Catholic Colonels (11-11-1) at 7:30 p.m. CovCath beat Newport Central Catholic, 2-0 in the other semifinal game to make it back to the region title game.

The winner of that game heads to Danville for the Sub-State 5 game. The Admirals won the 12th Region with a 2-1 victory over West Jessamine on Thursday.

Holy Cross beat CovCath, 2-1 on penalty kicks to win the district title. The Bluebirds beat the Indians, 4-1 at Tower Park on Sept. 5. Highlands is 9-0-1 against region opponents.

"The biggest thing for (the Indians) is they've had two really good results so their confidence is really high," Niedert said. "They believed in themselves. They have 11 guys that can play. They're a little bit more vulnerable when they go a little bit further into their bench, but they had some energy that might have made up for the difference in talent between the two teams. They gave everything they could. It's not that we played poorly. That had a pretty good game themselves."

Highlands put up 22 shots with 11 on goal. Holy Cross had just three shots with on on goal.


The lone goal of the game came five minutes into the second half on an assist from senior Nate Gesenhues. Highlands senior Alexander Foubert found the loose ball and scored from 20 yards out for his sixth goal of the year. That marked the first assist for Gesenhues this season.

"I was able to read a pass and step up to intercept it," Gesenhues said. "I dished off to Alex. He made a great move, got to the goal and put it in. After that. (Coach) Niedert made sure we stayed composed and didn't get ahead of ourselves. We stayed back when we needed to, took charge when we needed to. It helped us get the win."

The physical game saw just yellow card. It came against the Bluebirds.


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