By Ryan McQuillan, Highlanders Communications
May 30, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Highlanders FC are set to face the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 squad for the second time this season, Friday at 7pm.
If victorious, the Highlanders will take home the Juan de Fuca Plate, a supporter-created trophy for the best Premier Development League team in British Columbia. They host the Whitecaps after facing them in Vancouver two weeks ago for their only road game of the season thus far.
The Highlanders took the last meeting in a 3-2 decision with Jordie Hughes notching two goals and Riley O’Neill adding another. There was a scoring surge early in the second half with three goals being scored in four minutes. Hughes scored an unassisted goal in the 50′ minute followed soon thereafter by a goal for Vancouver’s Niall Cousens who was assisted by former Highlander Sasa Plavsic in the 52′. The surge was capped off when O’Neill finished a corner kick sent by Tyler Hughes in the 53′.
Hughes scored again in the 81′ minute to give the Highlanders a 3-1 lead after receiving a breakaway pass by Craig Gorman. Cousens notched his second of the game six minutes later off a pass from University of Victoria Vike Cam Hundal.
The Whitecaps are looking to become a winning team as they are currently sitting at a record of 2-2-0. They have momentum as they come off of a 5-1 rout of the North Sound SeaWolves and have outscored their opponents by a margin of nine to seven. On the other hand, the Highlanders are looking to rebound from a tie with the Sea Wolves, in which they were scored on in the 87′, surrendering two points. They remain undefeated on the season with a record of 3-1-0 but seemed to lack the form the maintained through the first three games. They have a goal differential of seven, having scored twelve and allowed five.
Forwards Cousens and Spencer DeBoice lead the Whitecaps U-23 team with three goals and six points apiece. Defenseman Derrick Bassi has played every minute of every game so far and will presumably be taking to the field again to try and slow the Highlanders’ offence down. Sean Melvin was in net for the Whitecaps against the SeaWolves with Victoria native Simon Thomas called up to the national roster for Canada’s Tuesday match against Costa Rica.
With the PDL season well underway; the Highlanders and Whitecaps are settling into form. The Highlanders have a four point lead over the Whitecaps in the standings and look to maintain their unbeaten streak. With the Juan De Fuca Plate on the line and valuable points in the standings at stake, this is an important match for both clubs.
The Highlanders and Whitecaps face-off at Royal Athletic Park, Friday, May 31st. Kick-off is set for 7pm. For more information please visit www.victoriahighlandersfc.com