Victoria, BC (ISN) — Vancouver Island’s best soccer players will kick off their season this weekend as both men’s and women’s Highlander teams take to the field at Royal Athletic Park, with the men opening play at 7:00 PM on Saturday against the Seattle Sounders, and the women taking on the Vancouver Whitecaps at 2pm Sunday, followed at 5pm by the Men’s second game in as many days vs the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Playing in the highly competitive Premier Development League (PDL) the men’s team are looking to build on last season’s strong finish and advance further into the play offs. “Our division is going to be the toughest in the entire league,” notes Highlander’s captain Tyler Hughes. “We’re expect a season of exciting, competitive soccer, with a great mix of younger players moving up from our u-21 team and a number of foreign players coming into the squad that will no doubt raise the level of the team and add a certain element that we don’t see in the local game.”
Preparing for the season opener, the squad faced off against a pair of Washington State teams from the University of Washington and Peninsula College, holding both opponents off the scoreboard. “These were great tune-up matches, and gave us a good indication of the level of play we need to achieve in order to be successful this year,” said Coach Ian Bridge. “It was a great chance to see all of the players in a game situation, and for them to develop as a team.”
The women’s squad, led by team captain Liz Hansen, are approaching their season opener with a great deal of confidence, bolstered by several weeks of intense training. “I think players have come in ready to go this year,” notes Hansen. “We have some very talented players, including defender Kelsey Tikka and Victoria’s own Katie Krautner, and we’ll be facing some strong opponents, especially with several teams picking up players from the Women’s Professional Soccer league this season.”
With all home games taking place at Royal Athletic Park, Highlanders Soccer promises Victorians a highly competitive and entertaining season in both women’s and men’s sides, with single game tickets starting at $10 for adults, $5 for youth, and no cost for children 12 and under. Seasons’ passes are an even better value at only $84, and include access to both men’s and women’s complete seasons.
With new on-site food options, including the highly acclaimed Pig BBQ, great pre-game and half-time activities, prizes, give-aways, team merchandise and a family-friendly environment, Highlanders Soccer is a great choice for an afternoon or evening’s entertainment.