Highland Women’s Soccer Falls Short In East Rivalry Game

Sydney+Pujol+fights+off+an+East+defender+and+tries+to+push+towards+the+goal.
Sydney Pujol fights off an East defender and tries to push towards the goal.

Sydney Pujol fights off an East defender and tries to push towards the goal.

Sydney Stam

Sydney Stam

Sydney Pujol fights off an East defender and tries to push towards the goal.

Sydney Stam, Editor-in-Chief

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The long-lived rivalry between East and Highland always seems to bring out a passionate game. The Highland women’s soccer team did not stray from this common trend. While their efforts came up short, as Highland lost 2-0, the girls played with passion and drive for the majority of the game.

The first half showed promise for the ladies as they played with high-intensity and persistence. With fairly even possession throughout the half, they had many close scoring opportunities, including one close call by sophomore Annie Murdock. While standing only a few feet away from the East keeper, she was hit in the chest from point-blank range when the keeper tried to clear the ball. Murdock was momentarily stunned from the impact, but was able to regain her senses long enough to send a shot toward the goal.

Murdock’s shot came agonizingly close, but ricocheted off the left post. This proved to be Highland’s best chance to score in the game and if Murdock’s reaction was any indication — she immediately hunched over in obvious pain from being hit the ball — the Rams knew it was one they needed to secure.

Highland could only keep up the energy for so long. The game remained scoreless until the final 11 minutes of the second half, when East was able to score their first goal. A second goal with three minutes remaining secured the game, dropping Highland to 1-1 in region play.

“All of us did amazing at playing with high-intensity and high pressure the last 30 minutes of the first half,” Kelsey Straw, one of the three captains, said. “The hard part is keeping that intensity and challenging every ball the whole 80 minutes we play.”

The second half of the game the Rams seemed to lose their drive and fall victim to East’s offense. They could not keep the ball as easily as they had in the first half and struggled to keep up with the pace the Leopard’s were setting. However, the girls are hopeful for their next game.

“The second half East was passing around our midfield players a lot so we need to work on marking up in the middle and push them towards the outside,” Straw said.

The Rams will take on Skyline this Thursday, September 7th at Highland. They’re hoping to improve after this loss and keep up their energy against the Eagles.

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