Peninsula Coop Highlander​s launch 2013 season against Kamloops Heat

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By James Nielsen, Highlanders Communications

May 9, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Peninsula Coop Highlanders will open their 2013 season against the Kamloops Heat this weekend, facing a team that features 15 returning players along with head coach Kelly Shantz leading the group.

Last years squad lost to the eventual Pacific Coast Soccer League champion Fraser Valley Action during the 2012 playoffs in a penalty shoot-out. Last weekend, the Heat won their season-opening contest with a 3-0 victory over the North Shore Girls SC (NSGSC). The Peninsula Coop Highlanders will have to deal with the fact that they will not have a previous match to build off of going into their match with the Heat.

“We’re practicing three times a week and we’ve had a game with our youth team,” says Women’s Head Coach Dave Dew. “That doesn’t give us a true indication of where we’re at though. However, I’m quietly optimistic about our team going in.”

The victory over the NSGSC came with two goals from Thompson University Wolfpack player, Marlie Rittinger, along with 2012 PacWest Player-Of-The-Year and fellow Wolfpack player Alanna Bekkering. Both players have experienced notable success during their PacWest careers, propelling the TRU Wolfpack to first-place finish in 2012. In addition to Rittinger and Bekkering, the Heat feature 15 players who have ties to the Thompson River Wolfpack system.

The Highlanders women’s first-team kicks off the 2013 PCSL season Sunday, May 12, 12 pm at Victoria’s Tyndall Park. For more information, please visit