Highlanders’ reserves shutout weekend opponents

(Photo credit: AP Shutter)

VICTORIA – Victoria Highlanders FC’s reserve teams continued the organization’s successful weekend in the Pacific Coast Soccer League. Peninsula Co-op Highlanders women’s reserves claimed a 1-0 victory over TSS Academy Red on Saturday, June 28. Meanwhile, the men’s reserves cruised to a convincing 5-0 win over Chilliwack FC on Sunday, June 29.

The two wins added to the organization’s weekend shutout tally.

Women’s Reserves, June 28 vs. TSS Academy Red

The game marked the second meeting of the season between these two teams with the first meeting finishing in scoreless draw. The match, much like their previous meeting, was a tightly contested affair. Neither team looked to show any weaknesses as the match rolled along. The game remained scoreless at the half.

The Highlanders continued to push, but were rebuffed in their offensive chances. Then, Co-op Highlanders women’s reserve coach, Nikki Kaufmann, made a personnel switch that changed the complexion of the match. Olivia Vezza, usually a central midfielder, was put up front for the dying minutes of the match. Vezza made most of her opportunity and her blast from 24 yards out beat the keeper for the 1-0 lead with just minutes left. The Highlanders hung on for the 1-0 win behind some great goalkeeping. Tilly Hadley and Michaila Frawley played a half each for the Highlanders and both made some exceptional saves to preserve the three points. The win improved the women’s record to 6-1-2.

Men’s Reserves, June 29 vs. Chilliwack FC

The Highlanders men’s reserves went into this game looking to move closer to a PCSL playoff spot. The first 15 minutes of the match was competitive but there was no real sustained possession by either team. As the game wore on, the Highlanders gained a foothold in the midfield and began to put pressure on the Chilliwack FC backline. Justin Atwal opened the scoring for the Highlanders as he converted a Bryce Marinus cross for the 1-0 lead. Continued pressure from Victoria started to pay off as the home side had several quality chances as half time approached. Jyotish Khanna took advantage of the pressure as he took a Connor Phillips through ball, turned the defender, and slotted it into the far corner. The Highlanders held the 2-0 lead at the half.

Victoria came out flying in the second half and controlled the possession as Chilliwack began to tire. After a solid sequence of possession, Khanna scored his second of the game to make it 3-0. Shortly after that, Callum Montgomery avoided an offside trap by dribbling through the midfield on his own with a fine individual effort to make it 4-0. The Highlanders’ fifth goal of the afternoon came off some excellent teamwork and was slotted home by Khanna to complete his hat trick. Victoria cruised to the 5-0 victory while Simon Norgrove recorded the clean sheet in goal. With the victory, the men sit third in their table with a 3-2-2 record.

For more information on our reserve teams head to www.highlandersfc.ca or go to the PCSL’s website at www.pcsl.org.