A last-second goal lifted Mattoon girls soccer to a 1-0 victory over Highland in the regional opener in Mascoutah on Tuesday night.
Mattoon (19-5) next plays Friday in the regional final against Mascoutah, a 14-0 winner over Charleston. Kickoff is 6 p.m.
Mattoon scored the game-winning goal with 2.4 seconds left in the game on a counter attack.
A Mattoon defender cleared the ball out of the back to Lily Ghere, who passed the ball up the sideline to Faith Niebrugge.
The senior beat two defenders off the dribble and layed it off to Bella Masse in front of the net. Masse knocked the ball by the keeper to give the Green Wave the win.
MHS coach Ryan Ghere’s first though after the ball went into the net: “relief.”
“We had lots of scoring chances but couldn’t find the net,” Ghere said. “All of their chances came on counterattacks. We controlled most of the game, but just couldn’t score.”
Averie Smith kept the Green Wave even by making three difficult saves in the second half. In one instance, Smith tipped a ball over the crossbar with 2 minutes left in the game.