Highlanders’ reserves finish busy week in PCSL
VICTORIA – Both Victoria Highlanders’ reserve teams were in action this week in the Pacific Coast Soccer League. Peninsula Co-op Highlanders women’s reserves claimed a 3-0 win over West Vancouver FC on Sunday, July 6 at Hampton Park. Meanwhile, the men’s reserves came up short in a 2-1 loss to Mid Isle Highlanders on Thursday, July 3 and settled for a 0-0 draw against Kelowna United on Sunday, July 6 at Tyndall Park.
Women’s Reserves, July 6 vs. West Vancouver FC
The match marked the second meeting of the season between the two teams, with the first meeting ending in a 3-2 WVFC win, the women’s only loss on the season so far. Early on, the match was a closely contested affair much like the first meeting.
WVFC thought they had opened the scoring in the early going, but it was called back on the offside. It was in fact the Highlanders that opened the scoring when Natalie Cavallin let a low-driven, left-footed shot go from 20 yards out in the 38th minute. The Highlanders continued to the push the pace as Sachi Swift and Kiara Kilbey both came close to extending the lead. Victoria took a late 2-0 lead in the 44th minute off an Ashley Volk free-kick. Volk’s shot from 25 yards out fooled the goalkeeper as the ball found its way just under the crossbar and in. The Highlanders held a 2-0 lead at the half.
The second half showcased the Highlanders’ solid defensive system and quick transitions. Their solid ball possession paid off when Kilbey was sent in on a breakaway and made no mistake as she slotted it home for the 3-0 lead in the 55th minute. Victoria’s Taniesha Bramley provided the well-placed long-ball over the top to Kilbey for her breakaway. Victoria played solid defensively for the last 35 minutes to claim their third win in a row and top spot in the reserve table. Tilly Hadley picked up the clean sheet with a solid performance in goal. The win pushes the reserve women’s 2014 record to 7-1-2.
Men’s Reserves, July 3 vs. Mid Isle Highlanders
The Highlanders’ men’s reserves looked to improve their position in the men’s reserve table after off a 5-0 win over Chilliwack FC in their previous game. The Highlanders continued their strong play against the top team in the division in the match, with goalkeepers from both sides standing tall in the opening half. A tightly contested first half ended with Mid Isle up 1-0.
The Highlanders made a push for the tying goal in the second half, but their Mid Isle opponent pushed right back, counter-attacked well against the Victoria pressure. In the 70th minute, Mid Isle took a 2-0 lead off a hard shot from distance.
The home side continued to battle and were rewarded in the 85th minute with a goal from Hayden White. The Highlanders then pushed for the tying goal late, but were unable to overcome the deficit. Mid Isle took the 2-1 victory, remaining undefeated in their season.
Men’s Reserves, July 6 vs. Kelowna United
Looking to bounce back from their hard fought loss to Mid Isle earlier in the week. Victoria came out and played a spirited affair against Kelowna as both teams worked tirelessly to create chances. More opportunities came from the set plays for both teams rather than the run of play.
Both goalkeepers played very well to keep it even. Some very good build up play in the second half by the Highlanders led to a couple of near misses. Although they came close on a number of occasions and were solid defensively throughout the match, the victory eluded the Highlanders as the match finished in a 0-0 draw.