SASKATOON – Three first half goals propelled the University of Saskatchewan Huskies to a 4-1 win over the University of Alberta Pandas Sunday on Field 7 in PotashCorp Park.
Erica Hindmarsh scored twice in the opening 45 minutes, while Rebecca Weckworth added another to make it three goals in the first half as the Huskies jumped out to an early lead. Erica Parenteau scored in the 64th minute to cap off a strong offensive performance by the Huskies.
Saskatchewan takes the lone meeting between the two teams to improve to 9-3 on the season and sole possession of first place in the Canada West East Division standings. Alberta drops to 6-5-1 with the loss.
Hindmarsh gave the Huskies an early spark in the sixth minute. After a Pandas foul, Hindmarsh spotted the ball at the bottom of the centre circle on a free kick. A looping strike from distance snuck just under the bar for the match's first goal.
Hindmarsh made it back-to-back goals in the first half after both teams struggled to generate any offensive chances. Leesa Eggum found Hindmarsh at the top of the box with a defender on her back hip. Hindmarsh quickly turned to the right attacking the goal line. With a right footed chip shot to the far left corner, the Huskies had doubled their lead at 2-0.
Just before the halftime whistle the Huskies would take control of the game. Rebecca Weckworth got free in the box with just a defender and the keeper in front of her. The midfielder lofted a shot over the keeper off the bottom of the crossbar and in to put Saskatchewan ahead 3-0 after the opening half.
The Huskies continued to control the ball in the second half garnering the majority of the chances. Saskatchewan would break through with an early goal in the 54th minute. Erica Parenteau stepped up to the ball on a free kick from nearly 40 yards away after a Panda foul. The fifth-year defender, playing in her final regular season home game in Saskatoon, sent a perfect strike to the top right corner to give the green and white a 4-0 cushion.
Alberta started to push back in the latter stages of the match. In the 79th minute a free kick sent into the box by Fallon Dickie was headed just wide by Morgan Corbett. Seven minutes later an offside call nullified a potential Panda chance.
Alberta would break the shutout in added time. After gaining control in the Huskie zone, Annalise Schellenberg sent a hard low shot on goal that Kyleigh Vause dove to save. Julia Ignacio was on top of the rebound sending it just inside the far post to make it a 4-1 final.
Vause made two saves in goal for the Huskies, while Cassie Bazzarelli saved four shots for the Pandas.
The Huskies travel to Manitoba to close the season next weekend with matches against the Winnipeg Wesmen and Manitoba Bisons. Alberta travels to face the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack and the UBCO Heat.