Women’s Soccer Heartbroken After A One Goal Loss In Overtime Against East


Highland player Avery Thomas bodies an east player for the ball.

Max Torres, Online Sports Editor

A large crowd of fans assembled on Thursday afternoon to cheer for the Highland Women’s Soccer Team, awaiting a highly anticipated match against East. As the match went on, both teams played extremely well and scored awesome goals. Highlands offense and defense had a great game, both doing their jobs to the maximum. In the end, East managed to score a last-minute goal in overtime that led to their win by 4-3. Highland played a great game and we’re so close to snagging the victory over their opponent.

The game began right on time at 3:30. As this first minute went by, the ball managed to get up to East’s 18-yard box, and ended up with Highland being fouled in the box! The Rams were awarded the penalty and number 11 Adylen Croft walked up to take it. The fans were so excited about a possible early lead, and so was the team. Croft ran to the ball, hit it with power to the left, and East’s goalie only barely got her hand to it. Highland was a little downhearted but was ready for another chance to score.

As the first 20 minutes of the first half passed, both teams were unsuccessful in getting the ball in the goal. But with 27 minutes left, East was fouled in Highland’s box. The referee blew his whistle and pointed to the penalty spot. East had the same chance that Highland had previously in the half to score. The teams lined up on the 18-yard box and waited for the shot. Everyone drew their breath in as the East player shot the ball. She was able to put it past Highlands goalie and into the net. This made the score 1-0 with the Leopards in the lead. 

As the rest of the first half went by, the ball stayed mainly in Highland half. East created a few chances to score and get near the goal, but the Rams defense played smart and well in order to protect their goal. At the end of the half, Highland was able to keep the score at 1-0 and was ready to come back and play in the second half.

After halftime was over, the two teams came back unto the field and got in their positions. The whistle blew and the game resumed. Right in the beginning, Highland was fouled just outside the box and got a free-kick. Number 20 Emmy Boren stepped up to take it and put it just over the crossbar, a very near miss. Then only a few minutes later, Highland got a corner kick with 33 minutes left. The initial corner proved to be a dud, but then the Rams got the ball and had another near miss, with the East goalie saving it. 

With about 25 minutes left in the second half, East once again was able to get the ball past Highland’s goalie and into the net. This made the score 2-0, with East still in the lead.

Then finally with 20 minutes left, number 20 Paige Straw got the ball in the box. She had a great shot that flew right over the goalie’s head and into the back of the net. The fans and team went wild, and they were filled with excitement and energy. The score was now 2-1, with Highland back in the game.

Only five minutes later, Highland got another freekick just outside of the 18-yard box. Boren once again stepped up to take it. She ran up to kick the ball and paced it perfectly in the top left corner of the goal. The Rams jumped to their feet and were ecstatic. The score was 2-2, and Highland was hurriedly looking for another scoring opportunity.

Boren felt that the student section was a major helping hand in the team’s motivation.

Boren said, “I think that when I scored it changed the momentum of the game, along with the help of the student section.”

Eight minutes later, the ball was once again back in East’s half. Highland got a free-kick, and Boren was the one to take it. She kicked the ball into the box, and both teams scrambled to get it. After a few long seconds, number 21 Kensie Young got the ball. She quickly set up her shot and put the ball right past East’s goalie’s feet. Highland was now in the lead, winning by three goals to the Leopard’s two. Both the team and fans were yelling and shouting with joy. As the match was coming to a close, it looked like Highland could win it. 

Young thought that scoring that third goal to put Highland in the lead helped the team to realize that they could keep up with any team out there.

“It felt really awesome to score that goal. We were down in the second half and we fought really hard to come back. That goal put us up by one point,” Young said. “ And in doing that it proved to everyone and ourselves that we can stay with and fight with any team.”

The last five minutes of the game was a blur. Highland goalie Nona Wolfgramm played a major part in staying in the lead. She had two great saves that stopped possible East goals and kept the Ram’s pumped. 

And then, with 20 seconds left until the final whistle blew, East was awarded a corner kick. They put the ball in the box and was able to get the ball into the net with only seconds to spare. The game was now at a tie. Both teams had scored 3 goals and overtime hung over the player’s heads. As the clock ran its final seconds, Highland realized they would have to play an extra ten minutes to decide the winner of the match.

As overtime started, the Rams and Leopards were ready to battle it out until a goal was scored. The first chance for Highland to win came from free-kick by Croft one minute in. The shot went just over the crossbar, drawing groans from the East team. It was a very close shot, and both teams knew it could have ended the game. But Highland kept playing fiercely. The extra time went on, with more effort given by both sides. Then four minutes later, East got the ball in Highland’s box. They turned toward the goal and shot it just barely past Wolfgramm’s fingers. The whistle blew, and the game was over. East had won by one point, decided in overtime.

Highland had played such a great game, and they had come so close to victory. Both players and fans were heartbroken but kept their chin’s up. They knew they had played well and they accepted that. It was a great game. 

Although Highland lost to East, they are already looking forward to playing against the Murray Spartans.

Young said, “Next week’s game against Murray will be much different than how it was the last we played them. As the season has gone on, we’ve gained more confidence, bonded, and realized that we are capable of playing extremely well against any team.”

Make sure to get to Highland’s next game on Tuesday the 24th. The Rams will be playing the Murray Spartans at 4 p.m. and will be playing to win.