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Hendrick Starostzik (Staro) celebrates the Pacific FC’s first ever goal, with a header from a corner kick at the 23rd minute. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Pacific FC started off their inaugural Canadian Premier League season on the right foot Sunday, winning by the score of 1-0 at Westhills Stadium in Langford against the visiting HFX Wanderers from Halifax.

At the 23rd minute, Hendrick Starostzik scored a header off of a corner kick for the only goal of the game – it was an historic first goal for the fledgling franchise in the new league.

As a centre-back, he played in his own end and had a flawless match. The game is played at the level where one mistake on the back end would surely result in a dangerous scoring opportunity.

“For me, it is not about scoring. It was nice to get the first goal, but for me, it is about how the team plays,” said Starostzik. “It is about having a clean sheet when I play.”

The home team, bolstered by a boisterous sold-out crowd of 6,000 and the noisy Lakeside Bouys booster club had a handful of other glorious opportunities. One, in particular, happened at approximately the 51’ mark when goaltender Jan-Michael Williams dove through the air and made a spectacular save on Ben Fisk’s bullet of a drive.

Marcus Haber with the head in the offensive zone. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

The Wanderers had a few opportunities of their own, however, were met with equally strong goalkeeping at the other end.

“We talked about consistency,” said Coach Michael Silberbauer. “At times they played good football. It’s good to get the first win out of the way.”

“You could accept it if you played well and you lost but I thought in the first half nobody wanted to accept the responsibility to play football,” said Wanderers coach Stephen Hart. “They played flat early.”

Lukas MacNaughton picked up a second yellow card and, was ejected with a red-card ejection at the 73rd minute. Pacific FC played shorthanded for the rest of the game.

Sold out 6000. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

The Wanderers cut off the field at centre and stacked the backline with six defenders, to prevent any chance of a breakout – Pacific FC was lucky to escape with the win.