Rams lose in a physical game to East


Lydia Hawes, Staff writer

Although Highland lost to East 3-0, the final score was not reflective of how strong the Rams performed in a game that was hard fought and physical throughout. 

East entered the game as the current region leader and the Rams were determined to rise to the challenge. It was one of the loudest and most energetic games the Rams have played this season, and nowhere was this more evident than on the defensive end. 

The buildup to the game left players anxious during their classes. The rivalry, standings, and internal pressure were all big factors in the nerves. Along with that, the weather was blazing at 100 degrees with a bright sun.  

Despite those variables, the Rams started off aggressive and intense. Especially on defense. 

The Rams tried out a different defensive technique, with much more man-to-man coverage. This made the game difficult for East to get started offensively.  

Going into the game, Highland coach Robin Heath made it clear that the team needed to communicate, move off ball, and play confidently in order for the game to work in their favor.  

If you give it all you’ve got, you’re going to come off proud,” Heath said. 

Through the first half, there was equal possession between both sides. The Rams had a few opportunities on goal where shots needed to just be taken sooner, and East had several breakaways that were saved by the keeper, Grace Middleton.  

At halftime, Rams were fired up. The whole field was radiating with energy and excitement for the next half. The Black Hole was the biggest it’s been this season, with fans jumping and screaming for our players.  

“I think Highland had a lot of talking and aggression and desire that East lacked a little bit,” Highland wing Sadie Skidmore said. “I’d say we also put in more effort.”  

The Rams continued to play strong up until one of East’s star players broke through pressure and shot low from outside the box, making the score 1-0 for the Leopards with 28 minutes left in the game.  

The girls were frustrated and clearly upset about the goal, especially after all of the hard work they had put into the game so far. From there, the game went downhill.  

“We started to lose our focus and got scored on. After that, we really got down,” Highland defender Maddie Greenhalgh said.  

Following the first goal, the Leopards scored twice more. The team’s energy got lower with each goal, visibly upset and exhausted from their battle.  

“[We need to] remember the feeling of losing and working hard to [not] feel that again and emphasize keeping the intensity the entire game [for success in our next game],” captain Kate Olsen said.  

Despite the loss, Rams played extremely well against one of the top teams in the state. They’ve learned lessons from this game and are ready for the next.  

Rams are preparing for playoffs later this season, and East is giving them a glimpse of the work they need to put in to be ready.