June 18,2014(ISN) – VICTORIA – Victoria Highlanders FC (4-2-2) head out on a four-day road trip to Oregon, facing Portland Timbers U-23 (2-3-4) and 2014 expansion side Lane United FC (2-1-2) as the battle for first place in the Premier Development League’s Northwest Division heats up.
The Highlanders are coming off their most dominant performance of the season, where they rolled over Puget Sound Gunners 4-1 on home turf. Victoria’s Cam Hundal recorded his second goal of the season, while teammate Blair Sturrock took the team scoring lead after notching his fourth of the season. Highlanders Ryan Ashlee and Ian Greedy also contributed to the victory with their first goals of the season. The victory earned three valuable points for the Highlanders, who sit second in the table with 14 points behind first-place Kitsap Pumas.
First up for the Highlanders is fifth-place Portland. The Timbers are coming off a June 15, 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders U-23. Forward Kharlton Belmar had an impressive showing in the victory, earning a brace while registering five shots on opposing keeper Jefferson Caldwell. Belmar has been the driving force on offence for his squad, posting five goals through nine games while teammates Fatai Alashe and Benjamin Strong have each contributed a pair of goals.
Victoria will then head south to face sixth-place Lane United, who will also be playing in their second fixture of the weekend. Lane has struggled in their two previous matches, getting outscored 4-1 through two straight losses. Overall, the expansion squad has scored seven goals through five games this season, but have made up for a lack off offence by allowing just six goals against. Forwards Khiry Shelton and Conner Bevans have led the squad in scoring with three goals apiece, while fullback Casey Phillips has posted the only other goal for the team.
The Highlanders recently defeated Portland 3-1 at Royal Athletic Park on June 7. Last season, the two clubs split their season series with one win apiece. Sunday’s match against Lane will be the first ever meeting between the two clubs.
Competition this weekend kicks-off Saturday against Portland Timbers U-23 at 7:30 p.m. The team will then head to Willamalane for a 6:00 p.m. Sunday match against Lane United.