October 7, 2012, Edmonton, AB – Two goals in under two minutes was the difference as the No.4 ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears soccer team picked up a 2-1 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies Saturday afternoon at Foote Field in Edmonton.
Veteran midfielder Zenon Markevych scored first for Alberta, and was followed one minute and 24 seconds later by Scott Gilroy’s successful penalty kick, as the Golden Bears got all the scoring they would need in less than two minutes of time.
The Huskies made it interesting when they scored in the 80th minute, getting a goal from sophomore striker Brett Levis, but it would be the only celebrating they got to do Saturday afternoon.
The two teams came into the match with identical 5-1-1 records and tied for first place in the Prairie division of Canada West. Alberta had lost and tied its previous two matches, while Saskatchewan had lost their previous match.
Alberta’s first goal was beautifully executed counter-attack as they snuffed out a Saskatchewan corner kick, turned it up field and scored. Canada West points and goal scoring leader Marcus Johnstone started the play when he blocked a shot after the corner kick and gained possession. He then fed Jonah Feil, who then proceeded to stride into Huskies territory and thread a perfect pass through the Saskatchewan defence to a streaking Markevych who slotted it past Mark Diakiw in the Huskie goal at the 72:51 mark.
Team captain Scott Gilroy put the Bears up 2-0 one minute and 24 seconds later when shot left from the penalty spot and found nothing but net.
However that advantage did not last long as the Huskies pressed hard and were rewarded at 80:36 when Levis, with an assist to Dion Morgan, beat Alberta goalie Jay Vetsch.
The Golden Bears were able to counter Saskatchewan’s attack for the remainder of the game and preserve the tight 2-1 win. With the victory, Alberta jumps to 6-1-1 on the season, and now sits alone in first place in the Prairie Division. Saskatchewan however, remains firmly in the rearview mirror with a 5-2-1 record and solidly in second place.
The two teams meet again tomorrow afternoon at 2:15 pm at Foote Field in another important meeting. The top three teams from each division make the playoffs, and Sunday’s result could go a long way to determining first place in the division. Both Alberta and Saskatchewan have games remaining against the top teams from the Pacific division (UBC and TWU), as well as against Lethbridge and Calgary.