Highlander​s earn seventh victory of season, top spot in Northwest Division

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James Nielsen, Highlanders Communication 

June 24, 2013,  Bremerton, WA (ISN) – Following a 2-0 victory Friday night against North Sound SeaWolves, the Highlanders FC men’s first team headed to Kitsap to face the Pumas

On a muggy Sunday afternoon, the Highlanders were once again victorious, winning 2-1 in front of 439 people.

The Puma’s first chance happened early, when Midfielder Shane Malcome got inside the 18-yard box and fired a ball after an initial delay, Highlanders defenseman Ryan Ashlee was there to get a leg on the ball before it could reach goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou.

At the eight-minute mark, Brett Levis received the ball along the far right side of the field, breaking in on goalkeeper Aaron Fenlasson and firing a blast to the left to put the Highlanders up 1-0 early.

Jordie Hughes attempted to put the Highlanders up 2-0 minutes later but was beaten to the ball by Fenlasson.

In the 23rd minute, a Pumas chance was broken up by Ashlee again with a header. The play made it’s way to the Puma’s defensive end where a Levis header to O’Neill was broken up by the Pumas goalkeeper.

The Pumas answered back on the scoreboard at the 28-minute mark, when the Pumas made several passes around the perimeter before Malcolme fed Neil Shaffer who fired it in from the top of the 18-yard box.

At the 38-minute mark Jordie Hughes looked to get his second goal of the game, but fired it high over the crossbar, Levis would also fire a rising shot that missed the net, keeping the game at a 1-1 tie.

An early shot by defenseman Kalem Scott went far left to open the half for the Highlanders. The Pumas also had their chances, with Sebastiaan Jansen breaking around Ashlee before taking a shot that went across the goal and just wide right.

At the 51-minute mark, Midfielder Blair Sturrock fired a blast that rang off the crossbar and bounced on the ground. Jordie Hughes was there to collect the ball off the bounce, heading it to the left, past the Pumas goalkeeper to put the Highlanders up 2-1.

In the 65th minute, Levis carried the ball up the left side of the field before being taken down hard to the turf, where he remained for several minutes. A scrum ensued on the pitch, with yellow cards handed out to Pumas Zack Sampson and Alex Rodriques. Highlanders Riley O’Neill was also assessed a yellow card following the altercation.

At 73 minutes, Levis broke a tackle in the offensive zone, carrying the ball to the outside of the 18-yard box before firing it just left.

The Pumas were limited in chances following the second Highlanders goal, failing to convert on two free kicks they were awarded. Although maintaining a healthy amount of possession in the second half, the Highlanders looked comfortable in their own end, breaking up numerous attempts by the Pumas to penetrate their zone.

The Highlanders would maintain their lead to the final whistle, winning their seventh game of the season and capturing six points on the three-day road trip. The win also puts them at first in the Northwest Division, two points ahead of Portland Timbers U-23.

The Highlanders head to Vancouver Friday to face the Whitecaps U-23. The match is the final Juan De Fuca Plate match in the best-of-three series. Kick off is set for 7pm at Swangard Stadium. The next home match sees the Highlanders FC take on Victoria United on Wednesday, July 3rd at 7pm. The next home Premier Development League match takes place Saturday, July 13 against the Portland Timbers U-23 squad.

For more information please visit www.victoriahighlandersfc.com

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