|PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior Natalie Ossege (17) makes a move in a recent game. The Bluebirds advanced to the 9th Region semifinals with a 5-1 win over Beechwood on Wednesday.|
The 36th District champion Bluebirds (15-3-5 overall) took care of the 35th District runner-up Beechwood Lady Tigers, 5-1 to move on to the region semifinals Wednesday at St. Henry. Highlands faces Dixie Heights (13-9-1) at 7:30 p.m. after Notre Dame plays Ryle.
"They put everyone behind the ball and forced to try to score in different ways than we did the first game," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "It took us a while to get our groove. We kept on pushing and pushing finding ways to score. We ended up scoring a couple times on set pieces in the second half. That helped us out. It was nice to finish out the game. We're looking forward to Wednesday."
Highlands senior defender Lauren Deckert led the way with two goals for four points. She has seven this season.
The Bluebirds led just 1-0. It came on the second goal of the year from senior Parker Price.
"I think every first goal for us is an opener," Deckert said. "Our halftime speech was about putting five more on the board. It's as important to get those other goals as it is the first goal, especially since it's not a regular season game."
But Highlands pulled away in the second half. Juniors Greta Noble and Maggie Stieby had the other goals.
The Bluebirds had six assists in the game. Senior Maria Broering had two with senior Tatum Price, junior Kenzie Nehus and sophomore Chloe Bramble recording one each. Broering has nine assists this year.
Highlands defeated Dixie Heights, 3-0 in Crestview Hills on Sept. 25. The Bluebirds are 9-1-1 against region opponents.