Highlanders lose to Highlanders in soccer final

Nanaimo's Mid-Isle Highlanders lost to the Victoria Highlanders 1-0 in the PCSL's Challenge Cup final in Penticton.

Mid-Isle Highlanders player Daragh Fitzgerald

Mid-Isle Highlanders player Daragh Fitzgerald

The season came down to an all-Island final, and Mid-Isle FC just missed a perfect ending to summer soccer.

The Mid-Isle Highlanders lost to the Victoria Highlanders 1-0 in the Pacific Coast Soccer League’s Challenge Cup final this past weekend in Penticton.

“They worked very hard, they battled and they were unlucky not to win,” said Bill Merriman, coach of Mid-Isle FC. “It was definitely not from a lack of workrate.”

Vic broke the 0-0 tie midway through the second half and held on.

“We had quite a bit of pressure in their 18 box, most of the game, actually,” said Merriman. “Their keeper was very strong.”

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith team won its semifinal 1-0 over West Van FC, with Blaze Roberts scoring the goal and Scott Brown registering the shutout.

The Mid-Isle FC side didn’t leave the championship tournament empty-handed, as the team received a trophy as regular-season champs after a 10-1-1 season and Roberts received a Golden Boot statuette as the division’s top goal scorer with 12 tallies.

Merriman called 2014 a “big positive year” for the club, as it was supported by other soccer clubs in the area and players came from various sides and jelled as one team.

“Nobody was disappointed,” said the coach. “You’re always disappointed you lost, but everybody had a good year and I think everybody knows that we’re trying to build something here.”

sports@nanaimobulletin.com