The Highlanders capped off their record- setting season in the best possible way, defeating Cedar Crest in an instant classic for their first-ever CSAC Championship.
In a scoreless battle, the Highlanders notched the two best chances in the first half with shots from Lauren Costa and Sarah Jackson, both forcing Cedar Crest’s keeper into acrobatic saves off the line. The Falcons threatened with seven shots on goals, but center backs Tori Ruitto and Sierra Kiekel did a truly stellar job to bottle up CSAC Player of the Year Daria Warner, with freshman keeper Kyrstin Jarvis also showing incredible poise in the net.
The first 90 minutes ended scoreless and the game headed to overtime. The Highlanders buckled down and kept the game even, heading to penalty kicks with an attempt to redeem last year’s shootout loss in the CSAC semifinal. Senior Sierra Kiekel set the tone for the Highlanders, smashing her attempt into the left corner. The Highlanders trailed after Katie Jordan’s shot soared high and hit the crossbar, but to their credit Cairn never panicked. Emily Minard, Tori Ruitto, Sarah Jackson, and Brea Zellner each rifled perfect penalties into the back of the net as the pressure built with every passing second.
On the other end, Jarvis stayed patient, coming close to multiple saves, but narrowly missing. Jarvis’ patience paid off in the sixth round. Cairn’s keeper, the CSAC rookie of the year, feinted left and lunged right, stopping the shot from Cedar Crest’s Sarah Nawrocki and clinching the first CSAC title in Cairn women’s soccer history.