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Peninsula Co-op Highlanders join Vancouver premier league

The Peninsula Co-op Highlanders from the W-League in the United Soccer Leagues will have a place to keep their game sharp this winter.

The Peninsula Co-op Highlanders from the W-League in the United Soccer Leagues will have a place to keep their game sharp this winter.

The Highlanders and the Vancouver Whitecaps Under-18 Elite teams were approached to join the Vancouver Metro Women's Premier Soccer League and both accepted.

"The Metro organizers were trying to increase the standards of their league and we were asked to join,'' said Highlanders' coach Dave Dew. "This is a very good situation for us as some of our local players will be able to compete at the highest level during the winter.''

Some of the players on the Highlanders are W-League veterans Liz Hansen, Mariel Solsberg, Becky Swan and Heather Christie. Dew will fill his roster with Highlander Prospects and University of Victoria Vikes players, who are either red-shirting this year or will see only limited duty with UVic.

"The Highlanders and UVic have a very good partnership and this will be like having a reserve team.''

Veronica Hackett, one of the top youth graduating goalkeepers in Victoria, will play for the Highlanders, along with Nicole Bates-Eamer.

The other teams in the league are Surrey United, North Shore Girls Soccer Club (NSGSC), Columbus, SurDel (Surrey-Delta) and Westside.

The Highlanders open their 12-game schedule on Sunday on the road against SurDel. The first home game is Sept. 16 against Columbus. The game will be played at 2 p.m. at either Bear Mountain Stadium or at Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence.

rrauch@timescolonist.com

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