Highlanders’ reserve women wrap up impressive PCSL campaign in Challenge Cup finale
PENTICTON – Peninsula Co-op Highlanders women’s reserves came up just short in their final Pacific Coast Soccer League match of the season. The women dropped a hard fought 2-1 loss to Penticton Pinnacles on Sunday, July 27 in the Bill Gillespie Challenge Cup final.
Kiana Cowger scored the lone goal of the match for the Highlanders while Tilly Hadley had a solid game in goal. Despite the loss, the women had a very impressive PCSL season that saw them win the league title.
“Though the kids were disappointed in not winning the Cup, they can be very proud of winning the Reserve Division,” commented Co-op Highlanders’ head coach Dave Dew. “They represented the club so well through the course of the season.”
Playing in their second match in under a day, the women’s reserve squad wasted no time getting their chances towards the net. Natalie Cavallin received a perfectly placed diagonal pass from teammate Mariah Fontana before striking a hard shot on target from the top of the 18-yard box that was stopped in the goalmouth by Penticton ‘keeper Emily Edmunson.
The Pinnacles answered back with a pair of chances of their own, with a low shot from the corner of the 18 going wide of the net, and a miscue in the Highlanders’ back line resulted in a shot that rattled the crossbar.
The Highlanders began to carry play as the first half continued, maintaining ball possession and forcing several Pinnacle turnovers. Despite a noticeable lack of possession through the opening half, Penticton was able to threaten on their limited rushes up the field, and would open scoring in the first half after a pair of quality opportunities.
It was a set piece that would put Victoria down in the match, as Latawifc redirected a header past ‘keeper Tilly Hadley in the 41st minute.
The Highlanders made use of the extra minute of additional time in the first half, answering back with a converted set piece of their own. Brianna Wright continued her impressive Challenge Cup showing as a well placed corner kick found first half substitute Cowger inside the box. Cowger’s one-touch strike found its way to the back of the net just as time expired in the first half.
Play in the second half settled between both sides, as neither team was able to generate a sustained attack through the opening 30 minutes of play.
Penticton struck again in the 78th minute to take the 2-1 lead. Pinnacles’ forward Alana Parker made no mistake in the 18-yard box as she slotted it home past the ‘keeper.
Victoria looked for the equalizer in the late stages of the match, but was unable to hit the back of the net and Penticton held on for the 2-1 win.
“I can’t count the number of times I have been complimented on what great ambassadors they are for the club,” added Dew. “And how well they try and play the game.”
For recaps on all this weekend’s Challenge Cup matches that include the Highlanders women’s first team and men’s reserve squads, please visit www.highlandersfc.ca.