Peninsula Co-op Highlander​s Kick Off May 12th

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Ryan McQuillan

May 7, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Peninsula Co-op Highlanders squad kick-off their season this weekend in their first spring season as a member of the Metro Women’s Soccer League (MWSL). On Sunday the 12th they will square off against the Kamloops Heat, 12pm at home on Tyndall Turf.

The Peninsula Co-op Highlanders shift to the MWSL from the W-League, the top women’s league in the United Soccer League (USL). The MWSL is a soccer league that supports division 1 to division 3, and premier soccer in Vancouver and the surrounding areas.

The team is poised for success in the MWSL with a revamped coaching staff, experience in the W-League and the signings of three U-20 national players.

Dave Dew the head coach returns to lead the team along with assistant coach Bud Livingstone and new additions Bob Stankov and Marvin Diercks.

“Bob Stankov is working with the goalkeepers now on a semi-regular basis, when he can fit it in between the men’s practices. He brings high standards of coaching to them,” said Dew, “Very important to us, also, is the addition of Marvin Diercks to the team. Marvin is one of the top men’s coaches to have coached in the Vancouver Island Soccer League since the mid 1980’s. He’s highly regarded; I was able to get him on board and this is his first time coaching women in his life. He’s a big component for us.”

Diercks has a decorated career in Victoria football. He’s coached the Gorge Division 1 Men, The Victoria Riptide, Victoria Shooters, Oak Bay and Vic West as well as being a board member of the Victoria Vistas. He is currently the president of FC Victoria with Dew as the technical director.

Bob Stankov is the Highlanders goal-keeping coach. He works primarily with the Men’s first team but helps out in all aspects of the organization.

The Peninsula Co-op Highlanders have also added quite a bit of on field talent as well by bringing in Jaclyn Sawicki, midfielder for the University of Victoria, Katie Kraeutner who plays midfield for the University of Nebraska and Elyse Wyatt, a forward from DePaul University. All three are National U-20 players. Wyatt will join the team in June; as a Blue Devil at DePaul she notched 5 goals and an assist in 14 starts with the club. Kraeutner played under Dew for the Highlanders in 2011 when the team was invited to the USL Super-20 finals and was named all-tournament team. As a Husker she tallied two goals and assists while starting in all 18 games she played. The previous two originate from Victoria but Sawicki, from Coquitlam, is the only one to play collegiate in the city attending UVic. She has twice been named CIS Canada West First-team, a Second-team All-Canadian and at the CIS championships she was named All-Tournament First Team.

The whole team seems to be gelling very well with a new dynamic and a bit more “credibility on paper” as coach Dew says; “what it brings in reality is players on the cusp of national team programming and involved in national team programming which raises the standards of our squad.”

“We’re trying to get away from players just playing positions. You know, left full backs who just play left full back, we’re trying to attack with all the players so if the opening’s there and you have to drop back to cover a spot you drop back. The players are learning to fill into the shape of the team. I want them all filling spaces and attacking.”

In last weekend’s inter-squad match in preparation for the opener coaches and onlookers alike enjoyed what they saw. The brand of football being displayed was described as “quality” and “intelligent.” The Peninsula Co-op Highlanders look to carry this forward as they get ready to play Kamloops Heat this Sunday at 12 at Tyndall Turf.

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