SPORTS: Washington Huskies men’s soccer team to play Victoria Highlanders in Port Angeles

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PORT ANGELES — Soccer fans will get a treat as the University of Washington men’s team battles the semi-pro Victoria Highlanders FC on Peninsula College’s new Sigmar Field on Saturday.

And the icing on the cake is the Peninsula College men’s soccer team playing its final spring game against the same Highlanders on Sunday morning.

“Peninsula College soccer is proud to present to the [North Olympic] Peninsula two of the Pacific Northwest premiere soccer teams,” Peninsula College men’s soccer coach Andrew Chapman said.

The Huskies and the Highlanders play at Peninsula College at 3 p.m. Saturday.

‘Great soccer’

“If you like great soccer, this will be an opportunity you will not want to miss,” Chapman said.

“There’s limited seating, so get there early. This is going to fill up quick.”

The Highlanders are a semi-pro Premier Development League (PDL), which is the third-highest level of professional soccer.

PDL teams feed into the United Soccer Leagues (USL) while USL teams feed into the highest soccer league, MLS — where the Seattle Sounders FC play.

High-octane atmosphere

“It will be a great environment on our field for those teams Saturday,” Chapman said.

“It will be fun to watch these two teams going at it. This should prove to be a great matchup with both teams having finished second in their respective conferences last year.”

This will be the first time a Division I college team has played on Sigmar Field since it opened April 1 of last year.

A donation will be asked of spectators watching the game.

“It will be an open donation,” Chapman said. “All the money will go to supporting the Peninsula College soccer programs.”

Also, the Peninsula College women’s soccer team will have a bake sale with fresh-made items during the game.

This will be Washington’s final spring game.

The Huskies have had a tough spring schedule, going against the Sounders a couple of weeks ago and playing the semi-pro Kitsap Pumas last week.

Washington originally was scheduled to play the Sounders in its final spring game this Friday but moved that match up to make room for Victoria on Saturday.

“People like coming here and playing here,” Chapman said about why the teams picked Sigmar Field to play.

It’s a neutral field for the two teams, and especially good for the Highlanders — who are just a ferry ride and maybe 2-mile drive to the field away.

A little farther for the Huskies.

The Huskies are starting their second season under coach Jamie Clarke, posting a 12-4-2 record last fall, second in Pac-12 competition.

Washington’s spring season gives coaches a way to look at players trying to make the team as well as giving experience to the returning players.

The Highlanders, meanwhile, are concluding their preseason, getting ready to start their new season May 12.

The Highlanders will be entering their third year in the PDL under the guidance of former Sounder legend Ian Bridge, posting a record of 9-4-3 last year.

Bridge’s contract was just renewed after he led the Highlanders to the playoffs a year ago.

Then on Sunday, the Pirates conclude their two-game spring season with a match against the Highlanders at Sigmar Field starting at 10 a.m.

This game is free to spectators.

Sigmar Field is considered a state-of-the-art soccer pitch.

The refurbished playing surface has artificial turf, the first of its kind on the Peninsula.

It also is one of only a few such playing fields among community and technical colleges in Washington.

Since the field opened last year, more than 1,400 players have had the opportunity to play on the new surface, including 75 college players, 600 youth, 330 high school-aged players and 400 adults.

Sigmar Field is part of the Wally Sigmar Athletic Complex, which was dedicated in 2000 in honor of the late-President Sigmar.

Last modified: May 01. 2012 6:32PM
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