Special to the chronicle – Mike Rankin
The Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) returned to Ladysmith June 21 and once again did not disappoint the 100 or so spectators who came out to Forrest Field to see some high-calibre soccer.
Saturday afternoon saw the “Battle of the Highlanders” between the Mid-Isle and Victoria franchises — the second time these teams have met this season after a 4-4 draw to start their respective campaigns.
On Saturday, it was the Victoria squad that jumped out to an early lead, scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. But the Mid-Isle team came roaring back to life, with hard-earned goals from Renan Rebelatto and Ben Robson evening the score before the half.
In the second half, the Mid-Isle side turned up the heat and maintained good possession, which was rewarded with a free kick after a defensive foul just outside Victoria’s 18-yard box. Midfielder Dan Cato stepped up and casually deposited the ball in the top corner of the Victoria goal to take the lead for Mid-Isle. Then, with 10 minutes left in the match, Ashton Ngyuen went on a strong run down the right flank and served a perfect pass to Paddy Grieg, who slotted the ball home to seal the victory, 4-2 for Mid-Isle.
“I thought it was great for our team to come back after being down two goals, but it was also very impressive that they did it without league-leading goal-scorer Blaze Roberts and three of our other regular starters,” said coach Bill Merriman. “The depth in this team is something that could definitely help us as we go into the second half of the season.”
The Highlanders have not lost this season, posting five wins and a draw in their first six games to take a commanding lead in the PCSL Reserve Men’s League.
The PCSL returns to Ladysmith July 5 when the Highlanders take on Kelowna United at 4:30 p.m. at Forrest Field.