Highlands Middle School soccer team prevails over Cullowhee 2-1

Conditions were far from ideal on Wednesday playing against Cullowhee. Players we’re sliding all over the soggy field, but Highlands Middle School soccer players kept their heads up and stayed focused.

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Nathan Keener tries to maintain control of the ball even though conditions were wet against Cullowhee at home on Wednesday. Highlands won the game 2-1.

“We did pretty good,” said Highlands Head Coach Bryan Dearth. “The conditions were terrible, the kids could barely stand. But we attacked well and that was definitely good.”

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Conor Thorske maintains control of the ball on Wednesday against Cullowhee at home.

Highlands was put on the scoreboard by goals from Nathan Keener and Finneaus Garner. 6th-grader Conor Thorske said they began the game playing well, but then things got a bit sloppy in the second half.

“I guess we were all over the place at the end,” said Thorske. “It was so muddy and slippery, but I think we did ok.”

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Landon Green heads the ball out of Highlands’ penalty box.

7th-grader Landon Green said he wished they did a couple of things differently but is happy with the win.

“I think we could have done better, but I think we did a good job for the most part,” said Green. “We could have crossed the goal and played through-balls better.”

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Anna Stiehler attackes the ball against Cullowhee on Wednesday.

8th-grader Anna Stiehler said the wet conditions seriously affected her game plan.

“It was hard to maintain sometimes because if you change direction, your cleats don’t dig in the ground so you just slide,” said Stiehler.

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Owen Munoz drives the ball up the field against Cullowhee on Wednesday.

Highlands plays their last conference game of the season away at Tallulah Falls tonight at 4:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” said Dearth. “50/50, it could go either way.”

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James Earp throws the ball in against Cullowhee on Wednesday.

Stiehler said Highlands started off doing well this season, then they fell into a funk, but yesterday’s win is a step back in the right direction.

“The beginning (of the season) was a really good start,” she said. “Then we kind of went downhill. But now we’ve reached a turning point and it will get better.”

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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