HIGHLAND | It looked bleak late for Highland.
Griffith's Yadi Castellanos scored on a penalty kick at 70:48 to tie it up for the Panthers at 1-1.
Less than a minute later, the Trojans' Karlie Gragido put a ball over the top for teammate Paige Brown. Brown then broke loose on a breakaway and beat Panthers keeper Amy Bubala to the right side, giving the Trojans a 2-1 win over Northwest Crossroads Conference rival and Times No. 6 Griffith.
"I'm just happy that they had the belief in themselves that his is what's going to happen; we can get up and we can get this back," Highland coach Gordon Walker said. "It shows something about the team and hopefully they can build off that now."
The Trojans (5-4, 2-2) tallied the first goal at 21:41 when Morgan Pickens dropped a pretty cross from nearly the far corner just over the head of Bubala and onto the foot of Priscilla Carvajal.
Carvajal promptly deposited it into an open net on only the second shot of the night for Highland.
"I think that's the best Griffith team I've seen since I've been around," Walker said. "We knew we'd play five through the middle, and I think we counteracted that through the middle of the field."
"It wasn't pretty at times, but we just didn't want them to get that one-touch soccer going."
There were some tense moments in the second half when the Panthers (6-2-1, 2-2) were pressuring. Griffith got several shots off but most were off target. The rest were stopped by Trojans keeper Kelli Lee.
"I think Highland deserved to win. They were hungrier," Griffith coach Wally Kudyba said. "We were tired and inexperienced, and it showed (Thursday)."
Griffith's leading goal-scorer Emily Duhon missed most of the second half after suffering what Kudyba described as a likely broken collar bone. Starter defender Rachel Kruhaj was already out with a broken wrist.
Highland has dealt with its own injury issues this season. Walker said his team is finally beginning to come together like he hoped it would.
"This is the first night we've had our full squad back, except one player," Walker said. "That record is not what it should be, but it's a growing experience."