Miss soccer playoffs despite third straight win
BY CLEVE DHEENSAW
The Victoria Highlanders kicked the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency squad to the ferry docks and back to its residences Sunday with a 4-0 thumping to close out the United Soccer League Premier Development League season for both clubs.
Neither Whitecaps Residency, which grooms potential players for the pro Whitecaps, nor the expansion Highlanders will make the playoffs in the PDL Northwest Division. Yet the enthusiastic crowd of 2,205 at Bear Mountain Stadium in Langford again signified that Victorians are eager for a high level of soccer.
“The crowds have been fantastic this season,” said Jordie Hughes, a former USL pro with the Charleston Battery, who returned to play for the Highlanders in his hometown.
“I hope the support continues into the future. If it does, this club has a good chance of going up to the pro USL.”
Victoria goals came from Hughes, Patrick Gawrys, Matt Pele and Rory Hunter.
The Highlanders won their final three games to finish their inaugural season at .500 by going 6-6-4 while Whitecaps Residency concluded at 6-7-3.
“We did well for a first-year program and ended the season strong,” said Hughes.
“But it’s too bad we didn’t make the playoffs. Too bad it’s the end of the season because we were hitting our stride. I hope we continue building.”
Maybe to the PDL playoffs next year and the USL pro ranks beyond.
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