Whitecaps FC women Victoria Highlanders FC
Victoria Highlanders FC

Whitecaps FC women open W-League season with a 2-0 win at Victoria Highlanders FC

Vancouver Whitecaps FC women opened their 2011 United Soccer Leagues (USL) W-League campaign Sunday with a 2-0 win away to new local rivals Victoria Highlanders FC.

The 'Caps outshot their hosts 19-7, as newcomer Tiffany Weimer scored both goals on her debut at Bear Mountain Stadium on Vancouver Island. Victoria were playing their second game in as many days, after battling to a 0-0 draw with Seattle Sounders women on Saturday.

Weimer opened the scoring at the 16 minute mark. Captain Kelsey Hood played it ahead to the tricky midfielder, who broke into the box on the right, and Weimer's low shot went in off Highlanders FC goalkeeper - and former Whitecaps FC player - Gurveen Clair.

The home side's best chance of the half came immediately after, as a shot by Jana Yates deflected off a defender and went just wide.

The speed of winger Jen Stoltenberg caused all sorts of problems for Victoria. Just past the half-hour mark, she pulled away from her marker to break in on goal, then rolled it past the keeper, but defender Nellana Kurylo got back just in time to hook the ball off the goal line.

On 35 minutes, Whitecaps FC were awarded a penalty kick after Stoltenberg was taken down in the box. Weimer stepped to the spot and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net for her second goal of the match.

Moments later, the 'Caps came close again, as Carrie Patterson turned superbly in the box, then from 10 yards, fired a shot that hit the inside of the right post and stayed out.

It was 2-0 to Whitecaps FC at the break.

The home side battled hard in the second half, but could not find a way through the Whitecaps FC defence. Vancouver, meanwhile, came close to extending their lead just past the hour mark, as Stoltenberg beat two defenders on the left, cut in, and hit a fierce shot that Clair did well to stop.

In the final minutes, Weimer had a chance for a third goal when defender Lexi Marton picked her out with a superb long ball. Weimer went deep on the left, then tried to cut inside her defender, who did well to get a toe to the ball and break up the play.

Victoria had a good chance in time added on, as substitute Jackie Harrison fired a crisp low shot from 18 yards, but goalkeeper Kristen Funk got down well to make the stop, and preserve the shutout on her debut.
Afterwards, Weimer said she was pleased to have marked her first match with a win. "It felt like forever from the time I signed until our first game - but for our first game together, it was a good start. We have some things to improve on still, but getting three points is always good."

The victory extends Whitecaps FC's regular season undefeated streak to 11 matches over two seasons, and keeps Vancouver's record against Canadian opposition at a perfect six wins out of six.

The next game for Whitecaps FC is the W-League home opener next Sunday against Seattle Sounders at Coquitlam's Percy Perry Stadium. The match is part of the Whitecaps Women's Soccer Series presented by Kia - in partnership with the Girls Metro Soccer League. Tickets for all home games are available online for just $12 at whitecapsfc.com.

Scoring Summary:
16' - VAN - Tiffany Weimer (Kelsey Hood)
35' - VAN - Tiffany Weimer (penalty)

Match Stats:
Shots: Vancouver 19 - Victoria 7
Saves: Vancouver 4 - Victoria 10
Fouls: Vancouver 6 - Victoria 8
Corners: Vancouver 8 - Victoria 9
Offsides: Vancouver 4 - Victoria 1

60' - VIC - Nellana Kurylo

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
29.Kristen Funk; 3.Shannon Woeller, 4.Lexi Marton, 25.Ciara McCormack, 15.Krista Kruse;  30.Ranee Premji (7.Tina Romagnuolo 45'), 22.Kelsey Hood, 8.Tiffany Weimer (26.Nahiomy Ortiz 90'); 17.Carrie Patterson (18.Monica Lam-Feist 59'), 10.Tseng Shu-O (31.Abigail Raymer 72'), 20.Jen Stoltenberg

Subs not used: 1.Kayla Klim, 13.Malloree Enoch, 24.Jaclyn Sawicki

Victoria Highlanders FC
22.Gurveen Clair, 25.Nellana Kurylo, 6.Cara McLeod, 4.Nicole Bates-Eamer, 15.Shayla Behrens (20.Jenny Large 21'); 13.Mariel Solsberg (3.Janelle Smith 67'), 2.Ashley Porter, 16.Jana Yates, 10.Sara Douglas (17.Nathalie Scharf 21', 11.Paige Scott 67'); 9.Liz Hansen, 7.Kendra Flock (14.Jackie Harrison 67')

Subs not used: 1.Stephanie Parker, 27.Lindsay Butler