Victoria (ISN) – Both the Men’s and Women’s Victoria Highlanders suffered losses this weekend, the men a 4-1 decision to Portland, the women, a 1-0 home loss to Colorado.
In men’s action Portland’s early goal against the Highlanders Men’s squad set the tone for the team’s first away game of the season in a disappointing 4-1 loss, despite a near-even number of scoring opportunities.
“Portland clearly dominated the physical side of the game, and that was the deciding factor in the game,” said Head Coach Ian Bridge. “Portland was a much more determined and aggressive team than we were, and that is something we have to work on for our next game.”
Strong performances by substitutes Josh Heard and Jared Stephens made an impact on the offensive side of the game as the Highlanders scored their lone goal early in the second half, but a number of both individual mistakes and team mistakes allowed Portland to move through the Highlanders’ defense and score two goals.
“Despite some great individual efforts, Portland’s goals came too easily,” noted Bridge. “I was very clear in my feedback to the players. They know that physical effort and aggressive pressing must be the defining quality of our team, and I’m expecting the team to react and refocus for our next game against the Crossfire squad for Monday’s match-up in Seattle.”
On the women’s side, the Peninsula Co-op Women’s side demonstrated their never-quit attitude in a closely contested match against a very organized and defensively solid Colorado Rush team in a 1-0 loss before a home crowd at Royal Athletic Park.
“The Rush are a very big and strong side, and challenge well for the ball in the air with their very capable heading ability,” said head coach Dave Dew. “While they are definitely going to be a difficult to play against this season, we felt we were able to compete against physically, particularly in the 2nd half as our substitutions had a very positive impact on our game.”
The Highlanders squad were able to develop 5 excellent scoring chances that tested the Rush goalkeeper, while in their own end a pair of key saves by keeper Steph Parker in the 2nd half kept the game close.
Other positives for the Peninsula Co-op / HIghlanders team noted by Dew include improvements in the speed of play and the development of a more thoughtful and strategic approach, leaving the team with a very positive mood going into their 2- game road trip to Denver.