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HIGHLAND — Alyssa Schichner fell just outside of the penalty box and hopped up full of adrenaline.

The Andrean junior then got the call to find out she'd be taking the free kick.

Staring at a 1-1 tie, Schichner's kick soared over defenders and into the goal with 2:06 left in the sectional opener against Griffith. The 59ers will play Highland in Thursday's semifinals. The Trojans beat Hammond 10-1 in the second game at the Class 2A Highland Sectional on Tuesday.

"I get so into it when something doesn't go my way and I had so much adrenaline going I knew I could put it on goal," Schichner said. "If she had a great save, she could stop it but I had a really good feeling."

The 59ers scored twice in the final five minutes after Griffith took a 1-0 advantage 18 minutes into the second half.

Griffith's April Mendoza scored with 22:12 left in the second half on a pass from Emily Keck. The two teams held a scoreless tie at halftime.

"Griffith was doing a great job of using their time in space and winning the balls in the air," Andrean coach Jeff Clapman said. "We had to limit those opportunities for them, win those balls and take advantage."

Andrean is the defending Class A state champion and moved into Class 2A when the IHSAA added a third class to the soccer postseason.

"We know we had a lot of great success last year, going to state, but this is a whole new team with a whole new set of girls," Schichner said. "This is our turn to make our mark with this team."

Andrean beat Griffith, 4-1, in August.

Highland beat Andrean, 4-0, in Northwest Crossroads Conference play.

"This is all single elimination," Clapman said. "We've got to win them all from here out. We played well in the first game, but we now have things we have to work on."

In the second game, Highland's Jacqueline Frye and Hannah Wleklinski each scored twice, once for each unassisted, to pace the Trojans into the semifinals. 

Highland scored early as Wleklinski took a pass from Jamie Gessler less than three minutes after the starting horn.

The Trojans peppered the Hammond defense, spending most of the game in the Wildcats' zone.

Gessler, Frye and Hailey Rudoff scored unassisted in the first half to give the Trojans a 4-0 lead at halftime.

Rachel Russell took a pass from Wleklinski in the first 1:40 of the second half for a quick 5-0 lead and was followed by goals from Mackenzie Pickens and Frye.

Katerin Vargas scored for the Wildcats, cutting into Highland's then-8-1 lead.

Artasia James and Jacqueline Arellano also scored for Highland.


Sports Director

Hillary has covered prep, pro and college sports -- and even a Dixie Baseball World Series -- for newspapers north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line since 1995.