The Lady Highlanders varsity soccer team went undefeated throughout the regular season and clinched the Smoky Mountain Conference 1-A championship and a spot in the state tourney.
Highlands Athletic Director Brett Lamb said no Highlands team has ever gone undefeated throughout the regular season and Highlands has not won a conference title since 2007.
However, Highlands triumphant reign came to an end on May 3 at home against Lincoln Charter on semi-foggy evening in the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state tournament with a final of 4-0.
Highlands Coach Caleb Brown said he was proud the girls made it to the state tournament as only one slot is guaranteed from each conference that goes to first place, second place is a wild card.
“They performed well against a strong team from one of the best conferences in the state,” said Brown. “We had our chances, and it just didn’t go our way.”
Brown said Lincoln passed well and were very effective moving the ball, combined with two incredibly fast Lincoln forwards and it was difficult to shut down, but the Lady Highlanders never gave up.
“They never quit, they gave it their all and I couldn’t be more proud,” said Brown.
Brown said he didn’t know what to expect when the season began, but the girls worked hard and it showed on the field.
“I had no idea what was going to happen and then they came out and crushed it all season,” he said. “They grew closer as a team, gave it their all, and made it work. I’m very proud of them.”