May 28, 2014(ISN) – VICTORIA – The Victoria Highlanders FC head out on the road for a two-game trip, May 31-June 1, facing rematches against the Kitsap Pumas and Washington Crossfire. Last weekend, the Highlanders captured four of a possible six points, and currently sit in first place in the Northwest Division with eight points through four games of play.
The Highlanders open their road trip with a rematch against the Pumas, hoping to capture a victory after playing to a 1-1, May 17 draw where a late goal by striker Blair Sturrock salvaged a point for the Victoria side. Late-game heroics have been a necessity for Victoria, who had to find late goals in each of their first four matches so far this season. Forward Carlo Basso leads the Highlanders with three goals and two assists, while veterans Wesley Barrett and Blair Sturrock have both come up clutch with a goal and an assist and two goals, respectively.
The Pumas currently sit in second place behind the Highlanders with five points, after posting a win and two draws in their opening three games of play. Goals have come across the board for Kitsap, with Michael Chamberlain, Septi Danicu, Miguel Gonzalez and Joaquin Rivas posting tallies so far this season. Kitsap holds a 1-1-0 record on home soil after defeating the Portland Timbers U-23 squad on May 24 by a 3-0 score. Depending on Wednesday night’s match that sees the Pumas visiting the Whitecaps, Saturday’s match could determine who holds first-place in the division.
Following Saturday’s tilt, the Highlanders will head to Redmond, Wash. for a Sunday match against the Crossfire. It will be the US-based squads first match on home soil as they welcome Victoria to Redmond High School after playing to a 1-1 draw at Royal Athletic Park last week. The Crossfire have been limited on offence, receiving their two goals this season from midfielder Matthew Poplawski and forward Christian Rolden.
It has been a slow start for Washington, who sit fifth in the division after opening the 2014 season with two draws. A well rested squad will take to the pitch Sunday as they aim for their first win of the season, having played their previous game in Victoria last weekend. The Highlanders will be playing their second game in as many nights.
The double-header weekend kicks off Saturday night at 7pm in Bremerton, while Sunday’s match is also set for a 7pm start time. The Highlanders return on June 7 to host the Portland Timbers U-23 squad at Royal Athletic Park.