Friday, July 26, 2019

Week In Soccer Review, July 26th 2019

This week in Vancouver Island Soccer... Canadian Premiere League: Pacific FC managed to climb up two spots on the table to 5th place after a decisive 3-1 win at home vs. HFX Wanderers in front of a rowdy home crowd. With Summer going full blast here on the Island, we're heading into a long drought of home game action as Pacific FC returns to Westhills on August 24th. Until then, we look forward to cheering them on from the pub as they try to scoop up points on the road. PFC's next match at Valour FC is on Wednesday, July 31st. 2019 Canadian Championship: Of course, the big news coming out of the CanPL this week was all about the Voyageurs cup. The 3rd qualifying round saw intense action between some of Canada's top professional teams, and the Whitecaps. In the three final leg matches this week, Montreal came out ahead of York9 FC with a 3-2 aggregate scoreline. Ottawa Fury FC is moving ahead after defeating HFX Wanderers FC in a thrilling 5-4 aggregate scoreline. And finally, proving to everyone that Tommy Wheeldon Jr. doesn't know how to lose, the Whitecaps failed to impress the 50 people who showed up to BC Place to watch Cavalry FC finish off Major League Soccer's most beleaguered team with 1-2 on aggregate. The semi-final round of the Voyageurs picks up again on August 7th with Fury taking on Toronto FC and Calgary likely making an impact against Montreal. Pacific Coast Soccer League: The Victoria Highlanders Reserves had an amazing weekend, with back to back wins and clean sheets against Kamloops and Khalsa Sporting Club, with a 6-0 and 5-0 goal fest respectively. These two final wins of the regular PCSL season cemented the Highlanders at the top of the table, tied with points with FC Tigers Vancouver but coming out ahead with a 12 goal lead on goal difference. The Highlanders won the league, but they're not done yet. Tomorrow starts the Challenge Cup competition, which for the first time in quite a few years is hosted here on Vancouver Island at Centennial Stadium on the lovely grounds of the University of Victoria. The Challenge Cup is a simple 4 team competition format with the semi-finals double header on Saturday and the finals on Sunday. The Lake Side Buoys will be headed to Centennial for both days, be sure to head to the Centennial parking lot for an informal tailgate starting before noon. This will be the last live local soccer we get to enjoy for about a month, so come out and SUPPORT LOCAL SOCCER! And now you're all caught up.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Week in Soccer Review, July 17th 2019

This week in Vancouver Island Soccer...

Canadian Premiere League

It was another 2-3 loss at Westhills on Saturday against Spring Season runners-up, Forge FC. We’re only two games into this half of the season and this latest result drops Pacific FC all the way to the bottom of the Fall Competition table at 7th place. It’s interesting to note that Pacific has managed to score 4 goals in their last 2 games, but still let 6 goals in. Hopefully head coach Silberbauer sees this as a need to change up his defensive game moving forward.

The top three spots are the same as they were during the Spring Season, with Cavalry, Forge and Edmonton leading the league.

Pacific FC faces York9 tonight away. The Lake Side Buoys will be cheering them on from the Yates Street Taphouse in Downtown Victoria. Our next home game is this Saturday at 3PM at Westhills Stadium against Halifax.

USL League 2, Northwest Division
It was pretty clear that the loss of multiple players had a massive detrimental impact to the Victoria Highlanders as their final three games saw them chasing the game instead of dominating it as they mostly had all season up to that point. This last weekend had back to back games vs. Calgary that had Victoria flying back home without a single point to show for it. Their first matchup on Friday saw some of the best action from this team after the roster shakeup with a very tight 2-3 scoreline. The following game on Sunday, however, made it obvious that the Highlanders had nothing left to play for and ended up getting played off the pitch with a loss of 3-nil.

With regular league play concluded, the final Northwest Division table shows the Highlanders at 4th place on the table. Calgary Foothills FC comes out on top again and will go on to defend their title as league champions from last season.

It’s always remarkable to see how competitive the Northwest Division is, with the table shuffling every week and the division leader usually being decided in the final game or two. It’s a testament to the quality of talent we can foster here in the Pacific Northwest.

Pacific Coast Soccer League:

A rough weekend for the Highlanders Reserve team saw back to back losses on the road against PSC Tim Horton Pinnacles and Okanagan FC. This coming weekend has the Highlanders playing their final two games as they take on Kamloops Wolfpack on Saturday and Khalsa Sporting Club on Sunday, both at home.

The Highlanders are currently second on the table, trailing 3 points behind table leaders FC Tigers Vancouver. Hopefully they can shake their current losing streak and get back into the form they had earlier in the season. It’d be nice to finish strong and gear up for the Challenge Cup, which, according to my math, the Highlanders are guaranteed to be in even if they throw their next two games.

And now you're all caught up.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Week in Soccer Review, July 12th, 2019

This Week in Vancouver Island Soccer... Canadian Premier League: Our Cavalry rematch last week saw Pacific FC starting off the Fall Season of the CPL with a loss at home, which puts us in 5th place on a brand new table with zero points. The Fall Season has considerably more games in it than the Spring Season, which means the latter half of this year will be more of a marathon than a sprint. Accumulated injuries will be defining factors over, not just Pacific FC's potential success, but other clubs as well. Pacific FC will take on Spring Season runners-up Forge FC tomorrow at Westhills Stadium, kickoff is at 3 PM. In addition to regular league action, this week we were also treated to a few surprising matches in the Canadian Championship. In historic firsts for the league, teams from the CPL challenged two clubs from the MLS in what turned out to be tightly contested draws, undoubtedly surprising those who assumed that the MLS teams would easily outplay the new upstarts. USL League 2, Northwest Division: With the Juan de Fuca Plate on the line, the Victoria Highlanders took on the Vancouver TSS Rovers at home last week, but came up short. This is likely due to a grand total of 5 of our players departing the club shortly before the match, some of whom had been instrumental in our season's successes up to that point. We wish our lads who are moving on to greener pastures all the best... Even if some of us wish they could've stayed for just one more game. The roster shakeup likely also contributed to a 1-2 loss away to Sounders U-23s over the weekend. With two more games away at Calgary remaining for the regular league, and the Highlanders having slipped down the table to 3rd, our hopes of a post-season are looking bleak, but not impossible. Seattle, who currently enjoy the top spot on the table, would have to lose their final game and the Highlanders would have to win their final two matches vs. Calgary to come out on top. Stranger things have happened. Pacific Coast Soccer League: The Victoria Highlanders reserves in the PCSL suffered their first defeat of the season to FC Tigers Vancouver last week, dropping them to second place on the table. It's entirely possible for the Highlanders to regain their position as they have 3 games in hand over the Tigers with only a 3 point difference. With 4 games left in the regular season, it's looking extremely likely that the Highlanders reserve team will be seeing some post season action. In the PCSL, the top 4 teams from regular league play go on to compete in the Challenge Cup, a grueling two-day affair that can be fairly entertaining. It's also a tournament that we've never won, though we have come close. Women's Premier Soccer League, Northwest Conference: The Vancouver Island FC's season came to a close with their final game at home which ended in a 3-1 win over Vancouver TSS Rovers. This landed them with 18 total points for the season, setting them comfortably in second place in the conference behind Seattle Sounders Women, with a record of 6 wins, 2 losses and 0 draws. Not a bad inaugural season! We're looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish next year. And now you're all caught up.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Canada Day Tifo 2019

Did you catch our tifo display on Canada Day at Westhills Stadium? If not, check it out here:

Supporters' Choice Player of the Year Award 2019

The Lake Side Buoys Supporters' Choice Player of the Year Award for 2019 was awarded to Victoria Highlanders player Shun Takano! Stick around after the presentation for an interview with Takano.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Week in Soccer Review, July 2nd 2019

This Week in Vancouver Island Soccer... Canadian Premier League: Pacific FC decided to go out with a bang by beating Spring Season Champions Cavalry FC at home 3-1. Cavalry didn't bring their best team and instead opted to give some of their younger players some minutes, but the win at home did a lot for struggling Pacific's morale. This decisive win bumped Pacific FC's final spot in the Spring Season to 5th place, with poor Valour FC winning the Spring Wooden Spoon, should that ever be a thing. (it should totally be a thing) We don't have to wait long for more CPL action, as the Fall Season starts on Saturday (3 PM) with a rematch at Westhills Stadium against Calgary once again. This time, one would imagine Tommy Wheeldon to field his best team hoping to get an early start on the new season. We'll be hoping that lightning will strike twice and we'll be sending the Cavalry in full retreat back to Alberta with zero points. Be sure to drop by our tailgate, starting at noon! USL League 2, Northwest Division: It was a decent week overall for the Victoria Highlanders as they made their way down the Oregon Trail, taking on Timbers U23s and Lane United. VHFC managed to scoop up 3 points from the Timbers with a 2-0 scoreline, with Ngabo Shumbusho coming away with a brace and Trevor Schneider with a clean sheet. Just two days later, on Sunday, the Highlanders dropped points to Lane United in a tight 1-0 loss. However, this puts the Victoria Highlanders at the top of the Northwest Division standings with 19 points, tied with Lane United but still coming out ahead on games won. The Highlanders' final home game is this Friday at Centennial Stadium, kickoff is 7:15 PM. They'll be facing TSS Rovers in the final leg of the Juan de Fuca Plate competition, which will be awarded after the game. In case you haven't been following that, the Highlanders lead the competition on a 1-0 aggregate. Because of away goal rules, a nil-nil result, a draw or better for the Highlanders would bring the plate home to Victoria. Also, as it's the last home match, the Lake Side Buoys will be presenting their Supporters' Choice Player of the Year Award! Who is the award going to? Go to the game and vote for your favorite player! WPSL, Northwest Conference: The ladies of Vancouver Island FC played Eugene Timbers FC Azul on Sunday, picking up all three points in a 4-0 shutout. This puts them on a four-game winning streak that has them sitting at third place in the very competitive conference with 15 points. Seattle Sounders Women ran away with the table with 7 wins and 1 loss netting them 21 points, well ahead of second place Spokane SC Shadow's 15 points. (And VIFC's 15 points) VIFC plays their final game at home this Saturday at Goudy Turf Field at 12:15 PM against the Vancouver TSS Rovers. A win here would lock in Vancouver Island FC's second place spot in the conference and give us some bragging rights over the Rovers. If you're headed to Westhills on Saturday anyway for Pacific FC, why not arrive early, get better parking and make it a double header? Pacific Coast Soccer League: You thought I forgot about the Highlanders' PCSL team, didn't you? Though it's not a league for spectators, I do like to keep an eye on it. Victoria's Reserve Highlanders team is currently at the top of the table, tied on points with FC Tigers Vancouver. That situation won't remain that way however as the Highlanders have 3 games in hand over their second place rivals. I'm smelling some playoff possibilities! Who wants to head over to Vancouver and be threatened with arrest for bringing a drum to a football match again? Anyone? And now you're all caught up.