Highlanders’ reserves ready for 2014 Challenge Cup experience

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Highlanders’ reserves ready for 2014 Challenge Cup experience

VICTORIA – Victoria Highlanders FC’s reserve teams are ready for the Pacific Coast Soccer League’s 2014 Challenge Cup this weekend, July 26-27, in Penticton. The Highlanders’ men’s reserves will square off against Penticton Pinnacles on Saturday, July 26 at Kings Park at 1:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Co-op Highlanders women’s reserves will go up against Kelowna United on Saturday, July 26 at Kings Park at 4:00 p.m.

CHALLENGE CUP SCHEDULE

WOMEN’S RESERVES READY FOR POSTSEASON

The women’s reserve team is coming off a 2-1 victory over Kelowna United on Saturday, July 19 that saw them clinch their league title. Ali Murtland and Claudia Wheler provided the offence for the Highlanders as they rolled to their fifth straight win. The win gave the Highlanders a 9-1-2 record to finish the regular season. With their first game of the Challenge Cup against the same Kelowna United team, Co-op Highlanders’ head coach Dave Dew knows not to underestimate their opponents.

“Kelowna are a much improved team over the course of the short season,” Dew commented. “They are also a very well organized squad.”

The women’s first postseason test will be Kelowna United on Saturday, July 26 at Kings Park. This will be the third meeting of the season between these teams with Victoria winning the previous two encounters. Kelowna United is coming off a PCSL regular season that saw them finish with a 4-8-0 record and a fifth place finish in the table. With the women being a first year reserve team, the postseason experience will help their development as athletes and teammates.

“At the beginning of the season we thought this group of players may reach a playoff spot, but to finish first is beyond all expectations,” added Dew. “Having an opportunity to play in the post-season is an important aspect in their continuing development. Players need to experience the playoff stress in order to overcome their fears and nervousness.”

MEN’S RESERVES LOOK TO START STRONG IN POSTSEASON

The men’s reserves are coming off a hard fought 4-2 win over West Vancouver FC on Thursday, July 17. Jyotish Khanna, Bryce Marinus, Callum Montgomery, and Evan Gray provided the offence for a determined Highlanders squad that never gave up and secured third spot in the table with a 5-5-3 record. Ending the season on a win will only help the confidence of the team according to Highlanders’ men’s reserve head coach Dave Ravenhill.

Up next for the men is Penticton Pinnacles on Saturday, July 26 at Kings Park. This will be the third meeting of the season between these clubs; the last two meetings saw the Highlanders take a 3-0 win on May 25, and a 1-1 draw on June 14. The Pinnacles are coming off a 4-2 win over the league champion Mid Isle Highlanders on July 19. Penticton finished the season with a 9-3-1 record, good enough for second spot in their table.

“The season has had its ups and downs as you’d expect with injuries and a changed roster for many games,” added Ravenhill. “The players hope they’ve saved their best for last as they look to overcome Penticton on Saturday to set up a possible match up against the Mid-Isle Highlanders in Sunday’s Final.”

For more information on the reserve teams please visit www.highlandersfc.ca. For the official PCSL league site head to www.pcsl.org.