BY RON RAUCH
The Victoria Highlanders close out their inaugural campaign in the United
Soccer Leagues Premier Development League with weekend games against the undefeated Kitsap Pumas and the Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves.
A few more victories and opportunity to qualify for the three-team Northwest Division playoffs would have made it a perfect season for the Highlanders, who have played their home games before packed houses at Bear Mountain Stadium in Langford.
The Highlanders meet league-leading Kitsap tonight at Bear Mountain and then wrap up the season on Sunday against the ’Caps Reserves. Tonight’s game starts at 7 p.m. while Sunday’s affair begins at
“It is a big disappointment that we didn’t make the playoffs but the foundation is in place for the club to improve,’’ said Highlanders’ coach Colin Miller. “Overall, the year has been a huge success. They players have worked very hard and they now know what it takes to play in this league. Our supporters recognize the quality of the football being played here and they have enjoyed coming to the stadium.’’
Bear Mountain seats 1,200 but another 400 temporary seats are put in the end zones for Highlanders’ games. For most games, the seats have been filled.
“The Highlanders have a great organization and terrific ownership,’’ said Miller, who also coaches the Fraser Valley women’s
soccer team in Canada West university play.
Miller indicated that he will have a full roster to work with for the weekend games as forward Cole McFarland returns to the lineup after playing for Canada at the World University Games.
“We still have a great deal to play for this weekend. Kitsap in unbeaten and that will give us a lot of incentive to do well. If we win both games, we’ll overtake the Whitecaps and finish fifth in the league.’’
While posting 11 wins and three ties, the Kitsap team has been very stingy on defence, allowing only eight goals. The Seattle Wolves and the Whitecaps are next in goals against, each with 18.
The Highlanders’ overall record is four wins, six losses and four ties. The team has two wins and four losses at home.
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