Highlands boys varsity soccer team travelled to Cherokee to take on the Braves in the rain last month and after scoring 6 goals in the first half, the Highlanders won with a final of 7-0.
Highlands Coach Caleb Brown said the boys have really begun working together as a team with good communication and effective passing.
“We were able to string a number of passes together and communicate effectively,” he said. “We have also worked on set pieces and moving the ball forward in a counterattack.”
Brown added that Highlands has been working on set pieces and moving the ball forward on a counterattack and he is impressed with their efforts.
“Highlands is firing on all cylinders, and we are prepared to play out the rest of our season in good form,” said Brown. “We saw excellent development on our defensive line, great possession from our midfield, and excellent finishing and shooting ability from our strikers.”
Shortly after winning the conference game on the road against Cherokee, Highlands hosted Swain (also a conference team) and lost 3-1.
Brown said the work players have put into improving their game since the beginning of the season is showing on the field.
Highlands hosted Brevard for their season opener and lost 6-1.
Highlands Brandon Moss was looking on the bright side after the game and said tough losses like the one against Brevard show them what they need to work on and gives the new players experience playing against a good team.
“We worked hard and played our best,” said Moss. “We have a lot of conditioning to do and work on some other stuff, but we played great as a team. If we work hard, we’ll do good in the end.”
After spending 80-rough minutes in the box against Brevard playing a position that’s new to him, Highlands Goalie Sam Stiwinter said they played hard and they’ll get them next time.
“Overall, we did alright,” said Stiwinter. “Personally, I’d say I played decent. Once we get some games in, we’ll learn how everybody plays and we’ll get better.”
A 6-1 final can be demoralizing for a goalie, but Stiwinter said these things happen and you move on.
“If they score, you just got to shake it off and focus on blocking the rest,” said Stiwinter.
Brown said despite not getting much practice time in before the season began and only having one sub compared to Brevard’s roster of 25, the boys played well.
“We have a younger team with some new players who have never played the sport before,” he said. “It is going to shape up to be a good season when we get into our conference play. I am confident that the team will grow together and excel over time.”