Pandas and Huskies both clinch playoff spots


October 6, 2013, EDMONTON – In their final regular season home game, the No.3 University of Alberta Pandas made the most of their opportunities, cementing a playoff spot with a 1-0 win over the No.8 University of Saskatchewan Huskies, Sunday afternoon at Foote Field.

The 8-0-2 Pandas also stay atop the Canada West standings, thanks to conference leading scorer Julia Ignacio’s 10th goal and 19th point of the season and Alberta goaltender Kelti Biggs’ sixth shutout of the year and second straight in a seven-save performance.

Despite taking their first loss of the season, the 6-1-2 Huskies also clinched a playoff spot courtesy a Mount Royal loss earlier in the day.

Saskatchewan was the stronger team on offence throughout the game, getting its first great chance in the 22nd minute when third-year forward Ali Goodman came in on a breakaway but Biggs came out of her net to cut off the angle to force the shot wide.

Huskie team-leading scorer Jenelle Zapski followed with several chances around the 18-yard box, including two back-to-back in the 62nd and 63rd minutes but former Canada West Rookie of the Year Biggs denied her at every turn.

Outshot 10-1 at this point, the Pandas capitalized on their next opportunity, Ignacio finding a clear path to the net in the 68th minute, shooting beyond the reach of Evans’ outstretched hands along the ground and into the far corner for her conference-leading fourth game-winner of the season.

With the match winding down and the Alberta defence keeping Saskatchewan to the perimeter, senior midfielder Leanne Mylymok made one final attempt to tie the game in the 84th minute with a header off a corner kick, but Biggs lunged across the net to make the save and preserve the win.

The Pandas will take a “bye” on the upcoming long weekend before heading on the road to play their final two games of the regular season against the Trinity Western Spartans and the UBC Thunderbirds. The Huskies will spend next weekend on the road in B.C., squaring off against the Fraser Valley Cascades and Victoria Vikes.