A Kelly Cerkowniak penalty kick goal in the 39th minute gave the University of Saskatchewan Huskies a 1-0 win over the visiting Mount Royal University Cougars Saturday in Saskatoon.
Cerkowniak stepped to the penalty spot and sent a strike to the top left corner. Cougar keeper Meghan Prudhomme got a hand on the shot to deflect it towards the crossbar. The ball bounced down, just across the goal line for the lone marker of the match. Rita Fetsch was taken down in the box to set up the penalty kick. Fetsch took a Cerkowniak pass and drove hard at the Mount Royal net before being fouled.
The win improves the Huskies record to 4-1 on the season, while Mount Royal drops to 1-4 with the loss.
Leesa Eggum nearly converted early in the match. Eggum tracked down a ball behind the Cougar defense but was shut down by a strong challenge from Mount Royal keeper Prudhomme in the fourth minute.
In the eighth minute Mount Royal striker Kelsey Kinzner nearly won a foot race with Huskie keeper Kyleigh Vause to a loose ball 20-yards in front of the box. The Huskies were able to clear to keep it scoreless.
The Cougars couldn't manage a strong scoring chance in the first half leading to a Huskie 1-0 lead at halftime
With fresh legs just into the game in the 70th minute, a rather quiet second half became fast paced and full of scoring chances.
Jessica Bradford was first to a loose ball and sent it through for Erica Hindmarsh. Hindmarsh turned her defender around before firing a low hard shot at the goal. Prudhomme and Brianna Keil combined to keep the ball out of the Cougar net. Hindmarsh nearly found a sliding Cerkowniak in the box just moments later, but the pass rolled just past the striker's outstretched foot. Just a minute later freshman Rita Fetsch made a defender miss before sending a pass to Zapski on the left side of the box. Zapski sent a left-footed shot just over the crossbar.
Looking to change the momentum, the Cougars started to put pressure on the Huskie defense. After a strong push Amanda Schatter sent a long shot in towards the goal that nearly dropped into the top corner, but deflected just off the crossbar and out of danger. The Cougars nearly tied it up in the closing minutes when Erin Holt deflected a cross just past the post. Moments later Amanda Schafer sent in a free kick that Kennedy Paonessa headed over the cross bar.
Both teams continued to push the tempo in the final ten minutes with the Cougars looking to equalize and the Huskies hoping to ice the game. Neither team could solve the keeper late as Vause finished the game with a shutout for the Huskies. Prudhomme recorded seven saves in goal for the Cougars.
Mount Royal travels to Regina for an all Cougar match up on Sunday. Saskatchewan hosts MacEwan University on Sunday at noon on Field 7 in PotashCorp Park.