POCATELLO — Morgan Christensen jump-started a stalled Highland girls soccer team Wednesday, running onto a loose ball in midfield and blasting a 30-yard shot past the Wood River goalkeeper to spark the Rams to a 2-0 win at the Portneuf Wellness Complex.
Christensen’s goal early in the second half broke a scoreless tie and took the pressure off a Highland squad that had generated plenty of chances, but was struggling to break through.
“I told them in the first half, to have the ball primarily in their half the whole first half and not have a goal is a problem,” Highland coach Korbie Vaughan said. “That’s something we need to work on, is taking more shots on goal and going towards goal. So yes, I was very excited to see (Christensen’s goal).”
Hailey England added a second goal minutes later after Wood River’s keeper punched out a corner. The ball fell to England on the left side of the box, and the sophomore curled in a nice effort as the keeper scrambled to get back.
PHOTOS: Highland vs. Wood River soccer
Highland easily could have had more, but struggled to finish. Forward Aubrey Hymas had the best opportunity of the first half, jumping a poor Wood River backpass and going one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but a good save kept the game scoreless.
Hymas had another good one-on-one chance early in the second, but was denied again.
Highland also went close right before Christensen’s goal, but a bullet header from a corner was cleared off the line by Wood River. The ball ricocheted and fell to Christensen in the box, but she dragged her shot wide.
On the other end, Wood River was mostly reduced to trying hopeful through balls, and the Highland center backs, as well as goalkeeper Meghan Calley, did a good job cleaning them up to keep the shutout.
“My defenders played a pretty solid game,” Vaughan said. “They communicated and they moved well together, and really, Wood River didn’t have a lot of good looks.”
Highland (2-0-1) hosts Mountain View on Friday.