After a strong performance against the Mount Royal Cougars, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s soccer team endured their first loss of the season courtesy of the University of Alberta Pandas.
The Dogs shutout the Cougars on Oct. 5 2-0 and extended their undefeated streak to eight games before falling 0-1 to the Pandas on Oct 6. The team is now 6-1-2 on the season.
In their first match against the Cougars, the Huskies pulled away in the second half with two late game goals. Both teams were finding their footing early in the match, as neither squad was able to create strong scoring opportunities.
The Cougars nearly took the lead when Kelsey Kinzer got through the Huskies’ defenders and took a shot on net but she was called offside and the score remained at 0-0.
The Huskies scored the first goal with just under a minute left in the first half. Erica Parenteau’s corner kick was cleared off the line but Janelle Zapski was there to put the ball into the bottom corner of the net. The goal was Zapski’s sixth of the season.
The Dogs extended their lead in the 63rd minute when Parenteau lobbed the ball over Cougars keeper Kelsey Marklund to make it 2-0 for the Huskies. The Cougars swapped Marklund for Janelle Chicilo midway through the second half and, although the Huskies wouldn’t score another goal, the Cougars’ offence had no answer to the strong Dog defence and the match ended at 2-0 for the visiting team.
Keeper Kyleigh Vause got her first start of the season in net for the Huskies and recorded the shutout. Vause made one save while Marklund made three and Chicilo stopped two. The Huskies kept the opposing keepers busy, putting seven shots on net while the Cougars had a mere one.
The Huskies continually held the offensive edge in their second game against the Pandas but it was their inability to make good on their chances that led to the team’s first loss. The Dogs outshot the home team 12-3 overall and had seven shots on target compared to only two for the Pandas, but the one shot that made it into the net made all the difference.
The Dogs had their first chance to snag the lead in the 22nd minute when Ali Goodman broke away to race towards the goal but Pandas keeper Kelti Biggs came out of net to challenge Goodman and forced her to shoot wide.
Zapski had back-to-back looks at a goal in the 62nd and 63rd minutes but both times Biggs was there to make the save.
Not long after the Pandas netted their first and only goal of the day. Julia Ignacio found an opening and rocketed a shot past Huskies keeper Lisa Evans into the far corner of the net to give the home team a 1-0 advantage.
The Huskies had a final chance to tie the game when Leanne Mylymok headed a corner kick towards the net but once again Biggs was there to deny the shot.
The team may have suffered their first loss but they are assured a playoff spot thanks to Mount Royal’s loss earlier that day.
The Huskies stay on the road to face the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades on Oct. 11 and the University of Victoria Vikes on Oct. 12.
Photo: Kevin Schenk