Friday, August 2, 2013

PDL Finals Semifinal Post Match Review

Thunder Bay Chill 2-0 Victoria Highlanders FC FT

Post match review #1
Post match review #2

The Highlanders lost on Friday night to the Thunder Bay Chill in a closely contested match in the Texas heat. At half-time, the match was 0-0 with equal possession throughout the first 45, with both Brett Levis and Andrew Ravenhill each getting chances in the final 3 minutes of the half.

The Chill took the lead early into the second half with a volley goal by Sullivan Silva 20 yards from goal. The Highlanders pressed after the goal for the remaining 35 minutes of the half getting chance after chance but to no avail. Brett Levis and Riley O'Neill had a couple nice one-two combinations near the end of the match but  the ball ended up on the side netting. In the end, it wasn't the Chill that brought down the Highlanders but a combination of the heat and being in the unknown.

But what a 2013 season the club has had. Alot of club firsts this season: twice breaking the home attendance record (2,044 v Vancouver and 2,374 v Portland), winning the Northwest Division, winning the Western Conference title on the road, qualifying for the PDL Finals. The club never looked better in its five year existence. With Steve Simonson in charge for his full season, he continued where he left off in the end of 2012. He brought a new identity to the club, signing players that showed real talent on the pitch. He signed experience from former Canadian U20 standout Riley O'Neill and Scottish footballer Blair Sturrock who applied his trade in both Scotland and England. But with experience, alot of youth was signed as well. The biggest surprise was University of Saskatchewan Brett Levis. Brett came into his own during the 2013 season scoring a club tied high of 9 goals with Jordie Hughes. This kid has a bright future ahead of him. Don't be surprise that clubs will come knocking in the off season for him.

This has been a fantastic season for the Victoria Highlanders, the most successful in the club's history both on and off the pitch. The club setup it's inaugural Supporters Board with elections prior to the start of the season. And so began the era of the partly supporter-owned club, first in North America. But in the end the lads have done both Victoria and all their supporters proud...this is why we love this game! This is why we call ourselves supporters not fans because we wear our hearts on our sleeves. We have a deep emotion for the club we love!

Thank you to all the supporters, from the kids to Mrs. Campbell, who makes the home match atmosphere louder and more vibrant throughout the season. Thank you to the club's front office and owner for believing in our little supporters' group. Without your support and encouragement, we couldn't bring that European football supporter culture to our little club. And in turn, motivate the players on the pitch.

See you all in May 2014. Buy your season tickets or supporter section tickets before next them soon.