Co-op Highlanders remain unbeaten with 4-0 win over TSS Academy

VICTORIA – Peninsula Co-op Highlanders continued their impressive season with a 4-0 win over TSS Academy, June 28 at Winskill, the second meeting in as many games between the two clubs. The win is their sixth straight, and the Highlanders third straight game without conceding a goal.

The victory also preserves the Highlanders’ undefeated record in the Pacific Coast Soccer League at 6-0-0.

STANDINGS / SCHEDULE

The Highlanders took a 1-0 lead into the half courtesy of a Emma Greig marker. The second half featured a Liz Hansen hat trick that took all of 16 minutes to pull off.

“After a slow start the players answered my challenge to them to raise their standards and play a simpler, less complicated brand of soccer,” said Co-op Highlanders head coach Dave Dew. “They were full value for their improvement.”

The game was a lot tighter in the early going compared to last week’s meeting between the two clubs. The Highlanders got off to a slow start and were unable to get their legs under them early. Despite the start, Victoria got their first goal of the day midway through the first half. Highlander Lesley Chilton started the play with a nice chip down the line to captain Liz Hansen, who placed a diagonal ball between the TSS Academy centre-backs. Emma Greig quickly ran onto the ball and let a one-touch blast go that beat the keeper for a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute.

Determined to improve upon last weekend’s 9-0 defeat, TSS Academy was resilient though the first half, and gave the Victoria side a tough time. The Highlanders tried to add to their lead, but the home team kept pushing back and continued to battle every play. Victoria held a 1-0 lead at the half.

The second half started more intensely for the Highlanders and they were rewarded for their efforts early. In the 52nd minute, Hansen scored her first of three goals in a 16 minute span that would put the game away for the visiting team. Chilton’s through ball found Hansen in alone against the TSS Academy keeper Austin Studer, also the UVic Vikes goalkeeper, and Hansen made no mistake for the two-goal lead. Just six minutes later, Hansen converted a diagonal ball from Emma Greig for the 3-0 lead. Then at the 68th minute, Hansen completed her natural hat trick on a short and accurate pass that she roofed into the net for a 4-0 lead.

The Highlanders tightened up defensively in the latter stages of the game and were able to keep TSS Academy at bay. Victoria took the 4-0 win, and Highlanders’ goalkeeper Steph Parker picked up her first clean sheet of the season in an impressive showing.

“It was a much more motivated TSS team that we faced this week and credit to their players and coaching staff for preparing them for the rematch today,” added Dew. “But in the end Hansen provided the first class finishing which distinguishes her in this league.”

The Highlanders will aim for their seventh straight win as they prepare for a match against Kamloops Heat on Sunday, July 6. For more information please visit www.highlandersfc.ca.

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