By: James Nielsen, Highlanders Communications
May 26, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Peninsula Co-op Highlanders women headed to the interior for back-to-back games this past weekend, facing the Okanagan FC and the Kamloops Heat in back-to-back match-ups Saturday and Sunday.
The Highlanders were without seven regulars in their lineup for the road trip, allowing three 16-year-old reserves to step in and contribute in their first-team debuts. Saturday’s 7pm match against the Okanagan FC saw the Highlanders team play improve drastically following last weekend’s disappointing loss.
“We played really well, the team’s performance was really gutsy,” said Head Coach Dave Dew.
After surrendering the first goal of the game, a penalty on Highlander Mariel Solsberg resulted in a penalty kick that was taken and converted upon by midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki. Had it not been for an unfortunate crossbar right before the final whistle of the game by Sawicki, the Highlanders would have notched their second win of the season.
“We overran them for the final 45,” said Dew. “We just couldn’t get the winner. We put in a full 90-minutes this game, we worked really well.”
Sunday’s matchup saw the Highlanders facing the Kamloops Heat for the second time this season. The Heat scored in the 43rd minute, converting on a corner kick that found the back of the net. The Highlanders answered back when Abby Rhaymer scored in extra time of the first half, knotting the game at 1-1 through the first half. The final 45-minutes saw the Highlanders getting opportunities and also receiving timely saves, resulting in the second draw of the weekend for the Highlanders.
“We played the second half really well,” said Dew. “We had the ball a ton, Shannon Elder hit the cross bar. Within the last five minutes they hit the post. We weren’t getting the bounces and we struggled with the finishing a bit.”
With a lack of regulars in the lineup, Jaymie Cawley, Marissa Livingstone and Ali Murtland all made their first-team debuts on the weekend.
“They were fantastic, they stepped right in,” said Dew. “It’s a testament that we train with the kids and when they come in, it’s a seamless entry. They step right in and the players know them, it’s a testament to the [Highlanders Youth Development] system.
Overall, Dew is happy with his team’s performance.
“We played two very good teams and we played them with seven first-team players missing. Our work rate was fantastic, everyone pitched in and everyone did their job, it was fantastic.”
The next Highlanders home match takes place this Friday, May 31st against the Vancouver Whitecaps, for more information, please visit www.victoriahighlandersfc.com