HIGHLAND — A lot can change in a few days.
Times No. 8 Highland took a rough loss Saturday, losing 4-0 to Lake Central. The Indians scored early goals and controlled the match for almost the duration.
So, the Trojans got to work. And just three days later, they flipped the script with a 3-0 win over No. 9 Andrean.
“We just fixed it. From high-pressure, to possession, to finishing, it was all there (Tuesday),” Highland coach Courtney Condes said. “When all those things are going, you know, it works.”
Senior Jen Sheehan scored the first goal 24 seconds into the contest and notched an assist later.
“I think we that little (loss) gave us a little push because we realize we needed to step up our game and be more confident,” Sheehan said. “We just have to go into every game like this.”
The match opened the Northwest Crossroads Conference slate for both sides.
“One of our goals is always to win conference and it’s been quite a few years,” Condes said. “I know (Andrean’s) a different team, but they’re the state champs. Getting up for that kind of game, you could tell from the start that our kids were ready and they wanted to win.”
Sheehan put the Trojans (3-2, 1-0) in front real early, dribbling through the defense and deep into the box. Her shot found the net only 24 seconds after the opening kickoff.
Jacqueline Frye doubled that lead in the third minute with a rebound goal off of Sheehan’s second shot.
“Like in the Lake Central game, a quick goal gives you momentum and that’s exactly what happened (Tuesday),” Condes said. “I told them ‘I should not have to get you pumped up for this game, our first conference game. You guys need to be self-motivated.’”
Andrean (3-1-1, 0-1) had a pair of serious chances in the first half, but both were stifled by diving saves by Highland keeper Morgan Rinkema.
“Maybe we need to be punched in the face to wake up and say ‘Hey, we need to be working a little harder,’” 59ers coach Jeff Clapman said. “Sometimes we need be woken up, all of us players and coaches.”
The Trojans had two players marking Andrean striker Alyssa Schichner for the duration of the match. The junior came into the game with eight goals. She tallied 10 during last year’s postseason run.
“We did a great job connecting to (Schichner), but we were a little tardy for our mids to get back to the center of the field, but we’ll correct that,” Clapman said. “I still think Alyssa was as effective as she normally is and I have no issues with her ability to get up front.”
Highland freshman Hailey Rudloff made it a three-goal lead less than a minute into the second half with a shot just inside the left post.
Rachel Russell’s goal in the 75th minute capped the scoring.