The U21 Mid-Isle Highlanders FC took home-field advantage and ran with it, as the team advanced into the second round of the provincial championships. The Highlanders withstood early pressure from a hard-charging Gorge FC side, but managed to hold on and win their first-round provincial playoff game 2-1 Sunday, April 14 at Forrest Field. The winning goal came 10 minutes into the second half, when, from 30 yards out, Andres Algarin lofted a ball just over the leaping Gorge goalkeeper’s fingertips and under the bar. Gorge scored with five minutes left in the game to come within one goal, but the Highlanders were able to preserve the victory. The win moves the Highlanders into the quarter-finals of the BC Soccer U21 Provincial Championships Tournament, which will also be played in Ladysmith. The game time had not been announced at our press time. The Provincial Championships Tournament format sees 16 teams from seven leagues across B.C. battling it out in a single-round elimination format, similar to the NCAA’s March Madness tournament. The Highlanders came into the tournament ranked third overall and first in their group after winning the George Smith U21 Cup as Vancouver Island Soccer League champions.