Road to State: Varsity Girls Soccer Sports Wrap-Up


Sophomore Macy Hedenburg gets ready to be subbed in during a tough game.

On the 23rd of October, the Highlands varsity girls’ soccer birds fought till the finish in their game against West Jessamine at their home field. With a blow of a whistle, the game started with the players aggressive and hungry for a win. Neither Highlands nor West Jessamine players ever let up. Both sides fought back to get ahead.

Junior Jasmine Rehberger, one of the goalie’s for the girls soccer team, says, “There were lots of fouls and few free-kick opportunities; everyone was giving it everything they had.”

The game was pretty evenly matched, so this meant they had to go into 2 five minute halves of overtime. Then after this, penalty kicks were ready to be taken with 7 brave Highland volunteers. Seniors Maria Broering, Lauren Deckert, and Tatum Price, Sophomores Chloe Bramble, Faith Broering, and Jade Rehberger, and Junior Greta Noble had the chance to take a shot at the goal. The first round consisted of five kickers; because this score ended in a tie, the last two shooters were considered a “sudden death” round, with Rehberger and Noble still ready for their shot. In this sudden death round, Noble was able to make a stellar goal to push Highlands in the lead. All that was left was Deckert, a regular defender, hopes to make a save in goal. In the end, Deckert made an outstanding save to win the game for the soccer birds.

Rehberger expresses how it feels when she wins the game with her team. Rehberger exclaims, “It’s a feeling that’s indescribable. There’s just so much adrenaline. Everything you’ve done and all of that hard work is just worth it.”

With this win, the soccer birds were able to move onto the next round in the series of tournaments.

The soccer birds were back at it on October 28th, when they faced off against a tough opponent such a Lexington Catholic. Once again, the game started and the birds were ready to go. Although this was the case, both teams were giving it their all, leaving very little room for on-goal opportunities. At the end of the buzzer of the first half, sophomore Faith Broering had an amazing shot on goal opportunity, where she nearly scored if the goalie hadn’t tipped the ball with her glove. With the seniors Rylie Thomas playing goalkeeper in the first half and Maggie Heingardner taking on the second half, Highlands always had a fresh set of hands.

The first half was aggressive and always active, but Highlands was able to pull through with the help of our fearless defense. Thomas says, “In the first half, they definitely had a lot of shots and it made me scared a little bit, but I trusted my defense and knew that we could do it.”

When the second half soon fell into motion, these Highlands soccer birds never took their foot off the brakes. As soon as both of the teams were given extra time, they knew that it was time to get serious. Within just thirteen minutes into the additional time, Lexington catholic scored first, changing the score to 0-1. After a long, heaving 2 minutes, Noble scored for the lady birds tying up the score 1-1. This was a hopeful moment for the birds, knowing that they would never give up. On their way into penalty kicks, the girls were prepared and ready to dominate. As soon as the referee gave the signal to take their shot, Maria Broering ripped the slippery, rubber ball into the net with a whoosh. This was a relieving moment for Highlands, starting the score off 1-0. Following Broering in the penalty kick battle was Junior McKenzie Nehus, who usually plays both striker and midfielder.

Nehus too scored for her team and she was extremely grateful and appeased when this happened. “I was just relieved caused we have gone through penalty kicks so many times and it’s been so stressful.” Nehus admits, “But I have confidence in everybody who goes up and takes it and I have confidence in Deckert who’s in goal.”

After Nehus had her successful shot at goal, defender Deckert made her shot, and right after, Junior Maggie Stieby succeeded in scoring the game-winning goal. With a 4-1 score in penalty kicks, the Highlands soccer birds ended in a whopping victory, which would lead them into their next round against Sacred Heart.

October 31st, the spooky night of Halloween was reserved for the Highlands girls soccer team to take action against defending State champions, Sacred Heart. To start this eventful game, the birds had senior Maggie Hinegardner at goal and a remarkable starting lineup. With very few shots on goal for the birds, this made the defense push even harder to play more aggressive. This helped them to progress forward even with the wind against them. However, with the second half in mind, the birds were able to fight back and keep the score at a standstill until there was a chance at overtime. When more time was eventually added, Faith Broering helped to assist sophomore Chloe Bramble in scoring Highlands’ game-winning goal.

“It was honestly like the best feeling in the world,” Bramble said. “Especially since they took away our state title last year, getting the revenge back was such an amazing feeling; it really didn’t feel real.”

Therefore, Highlands earned their way to state finals championship, where they will then play Greenwood at Brian Station. Come out and support the Highlands Soccer Birds and their road to victory.

On Saturday, November 2nd, the soccer birds took on their last and final game of the season against Greenwood at Brian Station. This was an unforgettable game that was quite extraordinary. Starting the first half, the soccer birds succeeded in controlling the ball regularly and finding opportunities in and around the goal to take a shot. Even with some being from distance, Highlands was able to dominate the beginning of the championship game. With a tough a tiring second half for the birds, Greenwood was able to push back and score a goal in regulation.

“I think as the game went on, we got tired.” Girls Varsity Coach Nina Kearns said. “We had 3 huge battles to get there, so I think the fatigue was starting to set in.”

Unfortunately, this meant the Highlands soccer birds fell short of a state title. However, they had a tremendous season coming in with 19 wins, 4 ties, and only 5 losses. Come and support the Highlands girls’ soccer team next year!