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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Highlands Girls Win Fourth Straight 36th District Crown

Bluebirds Own Eight Straight Wins over Thoroughbreds

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands sophomore Chloe Bramble approaches the ball for a penalty kick in the second half. She scored in the 5-1 Highlands win over NewCath in the 36th District championship game.
The numbers had a chance to replicate themselves in the girls soccer 36th District championship at Tower Park two nights in a row.

The Highlands Bluebirds (14-3-5) sought a fourth consecutive district championship and eighth straight win over the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds on Wednesday and did it with a 5-1 victory over the Thoroughbreds (8-12). A NewCath goal in the final minute prevented the shutout.

"In the last couple games, we've really been possessing the ball so we made sure we were doing that (Wednesday)," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "We got the second goal from possessing then having our outside backs getting up, getting into the mix and creating more numbers up top."

The Highlands boys soccer team won the same number of district championships and consecutive wins in a row over NewCath on Tuesday with a 4-1 win. Both teams last lost to the Thoroughbreds in 2015.

Highlands had beaten NewCath, 8-0 on Sept. 4. That game took place at Morscher Field in Silver Grove.

"I think (the Thoroughbreds) kind of sat back a little more and gave us less time on the ball," Dean said. "On our half, they let us possess, whereas the last game, they kind of pressed and we beat them and we were on breakaway."

Highlands had 24 shots including 11 on goal to eight shots including five on goal for NewCath. Highlands senior goalkeeper Rylee Thomas had four saves.

"We have a lot of girls in the back and we work together really well to switch the ball and get it out of the box away from the keeper and we work really well together in the middle passing balls," said Jordan Stuempel, Highlands junior defender. "(Angles) play a really big role (defensively). If you are turned a certain way, you just need to communicate so you can either turn or pass the ball backwards and get a good angle."

The Bluebirds led 2-0 at halftime. Sophomore Faith Broering scored her ninth goal of the season and junior Greta Noble took an assist from Maria Broering for the score.

Highlands put the game away in the second half. Junior Maggie Stieby and sophomore Jade Rehberger made a nice pass to Maria Broering in the middle for the score. Maria Broering has 101 career points.

"I knew when that ball was coming to me, it probably wasn't the best idea for me to take it and I am so glad that Maria was communicating," Stieby said. "That's such a key component in the game. I knew to leave it for her for an incredible finish. Not every shot is going to be open. You have to be selfish and think what's best for the team in those situations."

The fourth goal came on a penalty kick. Sophomore Chloe Bramble scored for the Bluebirds.

Then with eight minutes left, Highlands went up 5-0. Senior defender Lauren Deckert found Stuempel for the score.

The Bluebirds will face 33rd District runner-up Ryle, 35th District runner-up Beechwood or the runner-up in the 34th between Dixie Heights or St. Henry in the 9th Region quarterfinals on Monday. The game will take place at Tower Park.

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