Varsity vs Highlanders (Women): Recap

Sam Aiello

VANCOUVER — Varsity FC secured a second win of the season that saw them comeback from a 2-1 deficit to beat a strong Highlanders side 3-2 on Saturday afternoon.

Midfielder Emma Regan put the home side in front with a wonderful near-post free kick in the 10th minute, curling it just beyond the outstretched keeper and into the top-right corner. Varsity kept good possession of the ball for the remainder of the half, yet still found themselves with an uphill battle to climb: striker Kiara Kilbey scored two fantastic counter-attack goals, weaving her way through the Varsity defense with ease before tucking both goals away with calm and collected finishes that saw Varsity down 2-1 in a matter of minutes.

“We kept good control for most of the match and conceded a couple goals that were not typical of our team and players,” said head coach Jesse Symons, who surely was not expecting his side to concede back-to-back goals so quickly and in such a fashion.

Varsity showed great resilience and poise to not only come back, but to do so in the first half. Highlanders showed some inconsistent defending after conceding an own goal in the 38th minute: Sophie Damian’s well-hit corner found Katalin Tolnai, who headed it towards goal before a Highlanders defender had the misfortune of kicking her attempted clearance into her own net. Highlanders would concede again just three minutes later with Damian again being involved in another goal, lobbing a brilliant volley over the keeper after receiving a lofted through-ball from Aman Shergill. A scoreless second-half meant Varsity’s two unanswered goals were enough to see them secure an invaluable three points.

“I was happy with the character and mindset of the team when we went down to tie it up and take the lead in the same half,” said Symons. The six-year UBC head coach has clearly cultivated great team chemistry and comradery within his group, evident by his team’s mental fortitude and toughness to overcome two crushing goals so quickly.

Not one to dwell on the past, Symons will be looking for a more decisive victory in the next fixture when the side take on Altitude FC, emphasizing the importance that his side incorporate build-up play from the back and dominate possession of the ball once again:

“We will continue to build with our possession and personality to be more threatening in our upcoming matches.”

Varsity play again Tuesday, June 7 when they host Altitude FC at Dhillon Field. Kick-off is at 5:30 PM PST.

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