EDMONTON – Opening up the final month of the regular season, the No.9 University of Alberta Pandas battled back to earn a 1-1 tie with the visiting University of Saskatchewan Huskies, Sunday afternoon at Foote Field.
Third-year forward Brenna Mattiello scored in her second-straight game to earn her team the draw, maintaining sole possession of first place in the Prairie division standings with a 5-1-2 record.
Senior midfielder Rebecca Weckworth tallied the lone goal for the road team, moving into a tie for second place with the Mount Royal Cougars, both teams currently holding 4-2-2 records.
The greatest chance in the first half of play came early as the result of an Alberta foul just outside the 18-yard box.
In the fourth minute of play, instead of taking her time in preparing her free kick, sophomore midfielder Kalli Cowles sprang a shot towards the Panda goal before third-year netminder Cassie Bazzarelli was ready, but the arcing shot rang off the crossbar to leave the game scoreless.
Alberta came on strong to start the second half, buzzing around the Saskatchewan end in the first five minutes yet it was the Huskies who opened the scoring, senior defender Jennifer Miller putting a cross into a scramble in front, the ball ricocheting off a few Pandas before Weckworth knocked in her second goal of the season in the 53rd minute.
The home team replied in the 74th minute when senior midfielder Jamie Pasemko’s corner kick came out of senior goaltender Kyleigh Vause’s hands, banged around the crease between a few Huskie defenders, including going off one unfortunate rearguard’s face in a failed clearing attempt that then hits the crossbar before finding its way to Mattiello who drove the loose ball home.
Despite a few late corners by the Pandas in the final minutes, they were unable to capitalize again before the final whistle blew.
Undefeated in their last five games, Alberta remains at home next weekend on the Saturday for the first game of a home-and-home series with the Mount Royal Cougars that concludes in Calgary on Sunday. The Huskies will also take part in a home-and-home series, facing off against the Regina Cougars while on the road on Thursday before hosting Regina in Saskatoon on Saturday.