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James Nielsen, Highlanders Communication

HighlandersLogoJune 9, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) - The Peninsula Co-op Highlanders kicked off a full weekend of soccer in Victoria Saturday afternoon, when they faced TSS Academy in a Pacific Coast Soccer League match, 4:30 at Royal Athletic Park.

It was the women's first match at Royal Athletic Park this season, but the team looked as comfortable and in sync as it had all season, winning 6-1 to kick off Saturday's double-header.

The women were once again without several starters due to scheduling conflicts, but managed to impose pressure through a majority of Saturday's match. At 14-minutes, Liz Hansen fired a shot that went wide right, followed by another great chance when midfielder Jackie Harrison attempted a header from six feet out.

Abby Rhaymer would open the scoring 30-minutes in, when she converted on a corner that was taken by Katie Kraeutner. The Highlanders would add to the lead nine minutes later, when Sawicki made a cross pass, finding Kraeutner and the back of the net shortly after. At 45-minutes, it appeared the half would end in a 2-0 score, but Krauetner would find Maryse Reichgeld, who would put another past the TSS Academy goalkeeper just before the whistle, leaving the Highlanders with a 3-0 lead after 45-minutes.

An injury to Nikki Turner forced the game to be delayed for several minutes early in the second half before the defender was taken off on a stretcher. Understandably, the Highlanders attention seemed to deviate slightly, as TSS Academy's Katie Bishop scored in the 62-minute. But the Highlanders would refocus following the goal against, when Reichgeld scored her second of the match at 71-minutes, restoring the Highlanders 3-goal lead. Abby Rhaymer and Liz Hansen would also add goals of their own, after TSS Academy's goalkeeper Banipal was red carded for playing the ball with her hands outside of the zone, forcing TSS to use an on-field player to stand in for the duration of the match.

Less than 24-hours later, the women's first-team followed up their victory with a match against Abbotsford FC, 2:00 at Tyndall Park. Despite playing their second game in as many days, and with three 16-year-old development camp players stepping in to fill vacant positions held by regular starters, the women walked away with their third straight victory, winning 4-0.

Rhaymer and Hansen opened the scoring in the first half, scoring at 7-minutes and 22-minutes, respectively. To open the second half, the Highlanders were pushed back into their own zone for several minutes. A rush for the Highlanders ended with a fight for the ball between Hansen and the Abbotsford goalkeeper, resulting in strong contact between the players, and the Abbotsford goalkeeper on the ground. A play in front of the benches minutes later ended with Hansen being checked to the ground, a play that drew a foul on Abbotsford, and seemed to motivate Hansen.

After being curled over on the grass for several minutes, Hansen got to her feet, carried the ball down the left side of the field, and fed Jackie Harrison who fired the ball into the net to put the Highlanders up 3-0. The Highlanders continued to apply pressure, with Harrison adding another goal ten minutes later. The match would finish 4-0, with the women's team now having won three matches straight.

The next Highlanders home match takes place Friday, June 14th at 7pm against the North Sound SeaWolves. For more information please visit www.victoriahighlandersfc.com

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