Victoria Highlanders FC have a busy weekend ahead with a double header against Calgary Foothill U-23, on Friday and then Sunday.
Calgary comes to town holding the top spot in the Northwest Division table with nine points, while sitting at No. 3 in the PDL’s Western Conference Power Rankings. Midfielder Kyle Jones leads his side on offence, netting four of the team’s eight goals this season. Last year’s PDL Championship finalists once again feature a formidable group, with several returning players and a handful of players on the roster from hailing from the Championship-winning University of Alberta Golden Bears (U Sports).
The Highlanders have split their opening two matches of their PDL campaign with a win and a loss, conceding just two goals over that span. Between the woodwork, goalkeeper Simon Norgrove stole the show in the team’s May 26 match-up versus Sounders U-23, with the young shot-stopper making several key stops in an eventual 1-0 defeat. In the attacking third of the pitch, the Highlanders will be looking to regain their scoring touch that resulted in four goals in their season-opening match.
“Each week and game adds another opportunity to gel together a little bit better,” explained Highlanders head coach Dave Dew. “A lot of these guys haven’t played meaningful games since February or March because they were in university soccer. It takes a bit of time and we have to be patient.”
Having played just twice this PDL season, this weekend could see major changes within the six-team Northwest Division. Favourable results for Victoria in their two matches and elsewhere could see the team leapfrog up the table by weekend’s end.
“The guys are coming together really well these week,” Dew added. “Obviously they were disappointed on the night against Seattle—we thought a draw was going to be the way it would finish out, but when the goal was scored that late we were kind of disappointed and shocked…The guys are resilient though and have bounced back, and we’ve gotten back to work this week.”
Friday's match is at 7:00 p.m and Sunday is at 2 pm. Both are at Centennial Stadium. Tickets available at the gate.