3 Days Until Highlanders Opener

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Ryan McQuillan

May 2, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Time’s winding down before the Highlanders finally face-off against the Kitsap Pumas on May 4th at Royal Athletic Park.

In this countdown article we will be looking at the three previous wins that the Highlanders have over their Kitsap rivals.

To date the Highlanders have a record of 3-1-4 against the Pumas, a team that has been very competitive in the Northwest Division since its inception into the PDL in 2009. The same year the Highlanders joined the league.

In the eight games played between the two teams each has played at home four times. Each team has scored eight goals throughout the series, averaging a goal a game.

The first win came on July 17, 2009 and was a 2-1 victory for the Highlanders at home. This was the first time the two teams squared off against one another. Gawrys and Vandenboomen both scored for the Highlanders and Conrad notched Kitsap’s lone tally. There were four cautions given out that game and Kitsap player, Phillips, was ejected in the 67th.

The second time the Highlanders were able to top the Pumas came two years later on July 23, 2011. The Kitsap Pumas were having an amazing year and were 12-3-0 going into their last game of the season hoping to come out of it undefeated. The Highlanders had other ideas and played the role of streak-busters, winning 1-0 at home on Ash Burbeary’s goal. Again, four cautions were given out.

The third and final time that the Highlanders topped the Kitsap Pumas was June 24th, 2012. This proved to be a turning point in the season for the Highlanders when they beat their rivals 3-0 on the road. It was new head coach Steve Simonson’s third game at the helm and his first win while in charge. After what was looking to be a disappointing season for the Highlanders they were able to keep the momentum from that game going and finish the 2012 season with five consecutive games undefeated. Jordie Hughes scored two goals and Sasa Plavsic added another.

The matches between these two teams are extremely spirited affairs that typically result in the referee reaching into his pocket. There have been numerous send-offs and cards.

The air is tense leading up to the 2013 PDL season for the Highlanders. It starts off with a heated match against a rival squad. Three days before the building pressure is to be released at Royal Athletic Park at 5pm. Seasons tickets are on sale.

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