An early start by the Pandas, along with the relative inexperience of CIS newcomers Mount Royal University, helped lift the U of A to a sound 3-1 victory on an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon at Foote Field.
The Pandas wasted no time in getting on the board first as third year forward Kayla Micheals connected with fifth year midfielder Carleigh Miller for the first score of the game in the fifth minute.
But disaster struck midway through the half as the Cougars took advantage of one of their rare opportunities during the match to split and get behind the Pandas defence and drew even with a goal of their own as the two Alberta based clubs entered the half tied at 1-1.
In the second half, the Pandas added to their lead with a goal from fourth year defender Shalal Kadima in the fifty-third minute to pull ahead 2-1. A late tally from fourth year forward Briony Buchanan sealed the victory in the eighty-fifth minute as the Pandas were able to take the contest 3-1 and improved to an overall record of 3-0-2 in Canada West play.
“It’s great to be undefeated, though I’m dissatisfied with our results of finishing around the net,” said Pandas head coach Liz Jepsen despite her team’s victory. “We have had some issues of finishing ... Not punishing teams will be challenging I think when we get down the stretch.”
Although they lost 3-1, Jepsen thought the Cougars proved a bit of a challenge for her team.
“I think that Mount Royal came out and made it harder on us to finish,” Jepsen said. “We worked to get out and at them but we just couldn’t put it in the back. So I’d say hats off to a team that’s well organized and defended well.”
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