James Nielsen, Highlanders Communication
July 7, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Following last weekend’s 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers U-23 squad, Victoria Highlanders FC headed to Washington to face the Crossfire with four more points securing a Northwest Division title for Victoria.
The Highlanders earned their first chance in the fourth minute, when Gavin Barrett lobbed a ball up the right side of the field, the lob was caught by Blair Sturrock who sent a cross pass to Brett Levis, who fired it high. Levis would get another shot off four minutes later off a pass from Jordie Hughes that would deflect off a defender before reaching goalkeeper Ian Clark.
At 15-minutes, Washington would receive a couple opportunities of their own, firing cross-passes in front of goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou that would not connect. The Highlanders would answer back with a chance of their own minutes later, when Ravenhill went one-on-one against the Crossfire defender, getting room to fire a shot that went past the far right post.
At 30-minutes Washington forward Roldan fired a shot that Mitrou got a hand on, slowing it down before it could trickle behind him. Washington then received a chance to the right of Mitrou, with Roldan once again firing a shot that Barrett slid to block, the rebound going wide left.
The Crossfire would net the game’s first goal at 39-minutes. With defensman Justin Schmidt converting on a penalty kick that was assessed to Tyller Hughes following a tackle on Roldan that the referee deemed worthy of a card.
Following Washington’s goal, the Highlanders would gain the majority of possession for the remainder of the half, with Jordie Hughes getting a chance to answer back at 42-minutes, getting the ball at the 25-yard mark but firing the ball just left. The Highlanders would be unable to even the score before the half was up, with the shots favouring Washington 5-3.
At 46-minutes Mitrou raced 30-yeards out of his net to beat Roldan to the ball, kicking it away before the Crossfire striker could get a touch. Once again maintaining possession in the opening five-minutes, the Highlanders applied pressure in the offensive zone but were unable to capitalize.
At 53-minutes, Levis collided with goalkeeper Clark after breaking up the left wing, Clark would receive a yellow card. The free kick taken by Tyler Hughes, would go wide right.
At 63 minutes roldan would get a breakway, with Mitrou coming out to challenge, Roland would fire it past the goalleeper to put the Crossfire up 2-0.
At 73-minutes, Jordie Hughes was taken down by goalkeeper Clark after going in one-on-one. The ‘keeper would receive a red card on the play and Tyler Hughes would convert on the penalty kick, pulling the Highlanders within one.
Five minutes later, substitution Sam Prette would break up the right wing, firing a cross pass to Sturrock who one-touched it into the back of the net, tying the match with 12-minutes remaining.
Down a man, the Highlander would apply pressure, with Levis nearly converting a pass from Prette off a Highlanders corner kick in the 86th minute. Levis would receive another opportunity in extra-time but would fire it wide right. The game would end in a draw despite several Highlanders chances in the final ten minutes.