Peninsula Co-op Highlanders return to Challenge Cup, aim for top finish
VICTORIA – Top-ranked Peninsula Co-op Highlanders will aim for their first championship title as they head to Penticton, B.C. for the 2014 Challenge Cup tournament. The Highlanders open the tournament against the Kamloops Heat and will look to erase the memories from last season where they faced an early exit after being defeated by the very same Heat.
The Highlanders dominated the PCSL this season, going a perfect 10-0 in a shortened season while outscoring their opponents 44-7 in the process. Veteran captain Liz Hansen led Victoria with 12 regular season goals while a total of five Highlanders finished among the top-10 in scoring. The Highlanders open the two-game tournament against the Heat in a rematch of last year’s semifinals, Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The Heat finished fourth in the league table with four wins, five losses and one draw. Led by Taylor Miller, the team finished with 33 goals scored and 15 goals against through 10 games. Miller was the lone Heat player to feature among the top-10 scorers, finishing in a tie with Victoria striker Emma Greig with six goals.
“I don’t think we’ve played our best soccer this year,” said head coach Dave Dew. “There have been games where we dominated teams and some games where the first 15 to 20 minutes we overrun teams with no reward. I would like to see us put them away in the first 10-15 minutes and I hope we can put that together for this weekend.”
In Saturday’s semifinal, 2013 Challenge Cup champions Vancouver Whitecaps will face off against Fraser Valley Action at Kings Park at4:00 p.m., with the winners advancing to Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. final.
The women’s first team will be joined by both the men’s and women’s reserve squads. Kick-off for the Highlanders, Heat semifinal is set for1:30 p.m. at Kings Park in Penticton.