Mid Isle FC Highlanders player Nick Moore

Mid Isle FC Highlanders player Nick Moore

Undermanned Mid Isle FC just trying to hang on

NANAIMO – The Mid Isle FC Highlanders weren’t at full strength on the weekend, and lost back-to-back home games.

The Mid Isle FC Highlanders weren’t at full strength on the weekend, and lost back-to-back home games.

The Pacific Coast Soccer League men’s reserve team lost 4-0 to the Abbotsford Mariners on Saturday and then 3-1 to Chilliwack FC on Sunday. Both contests were played at Merle Logan Field. Ben Robson scored the only goal of the weekend for Mid Isle FC.

The Highlanders have suffered a series of injuries recently, some of them long-term.

“Right now, to be honest, I think we’re struggling with it,” said Bill Merriman, the team’s coach. “Players are trying almost too hard to do too much out there.”

He said the game plan has been affected, as Mid Isle FC can’t attack as often as it usually can in matches.

“The team’s philosophy stays the same,” said Chris Arnett, veteran player. “It’s just a matter of those new players coming in and adapting to it, and it is hard at this level. It’s a quick, fast league.”

Now in the final stretch of the regular season, Mid Isle FC (4-3-4) hopes to hang on in the standings and give itself a chance to compete in provincials.

“We still have that opportunity,” Merriman said. “It’s up to us to do it and get everybody on the same page and working together.”

Arnett said the team is still in the mix as long as it doesn’t drop any more points over the last three games.

“Our goal’s always just to qualify for provincials or playoffs,” he said. “Once you’re in the gate, anything can happen.”

GAME ON … The Highlanders men visit Victoria United on Saturday (July 13). Mid Isle FC’s women’s reserve side plays at North Shore that day … The Highlanders women won both their weekend games, shutting out the Penticton Pinnacles 2-0 on Saturday and then handling Total Soccer Systems Red 4-1 on Sunday. Caity Genereaux scored in both games and other scorers were Mairi Horth, Alli Bach, Emily Shires and Carlea Williamson.

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