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Story and Photos by David Bukach (ISN)

highlanders 2May 4, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) - The Highlanders did not disappoint 1,800 fans on a perfect spring afternoon at Royal Athletic Park, cruising to a 3-0 victory over the Kitsap Pumas FC.

Despite a few early minute jitters, the Highlanders carried the play though the first 20 minutes, and were rewarded in a goal on a fine shot by midfielder Thomas Mallette at the 17th minute mark.

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Victoria Highlanders midfielder Thomas Mallette prepares to shoot during the first half of the Victoria Highlanders home opener against Kitsap Pumas FC - Photo by David Bukach (ISN)


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Kitsap Pumas FC goalkeeper Dustyn Brim jumps up to catch a corner during the first half of the Victoria Highlanders home opener against Kitsap Pumas FC - Photo by David Bukach (ISN)

Kitsap responded with some strong play after the goal, but keeper Joel Wilson made a great save in the 21st minute to keep the score 1-0 Highlanders at the half.

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Victoria Highlanders midfielder Thomas Mallette is tackled by Kitsap Pumas FC defender Cameron MacDonald during the Victoria Highlanders home opener against Kitsap Pumas FC - Photo by David Bukach (ISN)

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Kitsap Pumas FC forward Drew Jensen flies through the air after a late tackle by Victoria Highlanders defender Kalem Scott during the Victoria Highlanders home opener against Kitsap Pumas FC - Photo by David Bukach (ISN)

The Highlanders picked up where they left off in the first half, continuing to threaten Kitsap through fine midfield play, again led by Mallette. A great volley from #16 made it 2-0 Highlanders near the midway point of the second half, fed by a cross from Mallette.


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Highlander and Puma players jostle for position in advance of a Highlanders free kick during the second half of the Victoria Highlanders home opener against Kitsap Pumas FC - Photo by David Bukach (ISN)

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Victoria Highlanders midfielder Thomas Mallette receives a pass during second half action at the Victoria Highlanders home opener against Kitsap Pumas FC  - Photo by David Bukach (ISN)

A bad miscue by the Kitsap defence a few minutes later resulted in an easy tap in for Jordie Hughes and a 3-0 lead. Kitsap briefly rallied, but Wilson preserved a shutout with a penalty save in the 77th minute.

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Highlanders fans express their opinion over a foul called during the second half of the Victoria Highlanders home opener against Kitsap Pumas FC - Photo by David Bukach (ISN)

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