Highland hopes it gets another shot at Pinnacle in the girls soccer state tournament.
The Hawks fell one goal short in a 1-0 loss to the Pioneers in the championship game of the Arizona Soccer Showcase Monday afternoon at the Scottsdale Sports Complex.
Highland goes into the new year with a stellar 14-2-1 record. The Hawks got to the final with a 3-2 win over Rosary in the morning. Pinnacle beat Desert Vista in the semifinals.
"(Pinnacle) is a talented team, hopefully we will meet them in the state tournament," Highland coach Jonathan Berzins.said. "This tournament was good for us, we got to see a lot of talented teams including some out of state teams which is nice. We have a lot of depth and got some minutes in for many players."
The defensive battle saw 65 minutes of scoreless soccer until Pinnacle's Lily Brown scored the game's only goal. Brown took a tipped kick in front of the goal and sneaked it past Hawks goal keeper Ashley March.
Highland then felt the pressure to get a score and tie the game in regulation. The Hawks had several golden opportunities to deadlock the game in the fast and furious last ten minutes but could not cash in.
"We had a lot of chances, we just did not get the goal," Berzins said. "They (Pinnacle) were fortunate to get the goal and put it away. It was a good enjoyable game with two good teams that battled it out."
While March had many key saves in goal the Hawks just could not get any shots to find the net. Jaden DeGracie with her back flip inbounds pass put the ball in perfect position but Highland came up empty. The Hawks' Ashley Hatch had a couple of scoring chances on a breakaway and a long shot that were both saved. Highland also had a few headers that just missed their mark as Pinnacle survived the onslaught.
"I was trying to push, I was unlucky, I should have finished and scored on some of those," Hatch said. "We have been doing very good this season and would love a rematch with Pinnacle."
San Clemente beat Carl Hayden 4-1 for the boys championship. Carl Hayden had eliminated Hamilton earlier Monday in the semifinal.