Dan Khavkin, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY- Mount Royal Cougars hosted a second half of a home-and-home against the first place Alberta Panda at Cougar Stadium Field on a frosty Sunday morning, dropping the match 6-0.
Alberta had five different goal scorers and completely took the game over in the second half.
The first half was filled with chances for both sides to capitalise. Emily Sands got the ball in a favourable area at the 31st-minute mark.
Her shot made its way on net and slipped through the hands of Panda keeper Rebecca Reif but the startled goalie collected the ball before any damage could've been done.
This was the Cougars best chance and the save ended up being the turning point of the game.
Alberta pressed and had a dangerous moment of their own.
A set-piece play was headed by a Panda forward was headed towards goal, but Cougars keeper Cailyn Leeson caught the ball at full stretch
Later on, Karissa McNutt danced around the most of the Cougars defence and got inside the box.
She put too much of a spin on the ball and it curled away from the post at the last second.
The visiting Panda kept the pressure on.
A cross in was whipped in but and the wind fooled Leeson, she got enough of a fingertip to keep the ball out. With the net was empty and with a 2v2 battle, the defence cleared it from harm's way.
Caitlin Heim had the Cougars best chance of the half.
Heim finished off a nice passing play with substitute Navroop Virk getting her first touch and making an impact almost instantly.
A tiki-taka play inside the Panda box lead to the driven shot from Heim who brought out the best efforts from Reif who tipped the ball over the crossbar
Aly Parth put her side in front after her team kept on pestering Leeson with lobs and making her uncomfortable in net.
Crossing the ball inside the six-yard box was a reoccurring theme in this match.
Parth lobbed the ball over an overstretched Leeson who was a step too much over her goal line after recovering from tipping a cross out of the box in the 38th minute.
Cougars played well but couldn't capitalise on any chances and Alberta took a 1-0 lead into the break.
The second half was a completely different game.
A relentless Panda press lasted throughout the duration of the second half.
Alberta netted five goals in a row to kill any hopes of Cougars comeback in this game.
Megan Duro had scored back-to-back goals three and a half minutes apart from each other off of the reboot.
A corner resulted in the fifth Panda goal from Brooke Lang and McNutt.
A sixth and final goal of the rout was a free kick scored by Georgia Tansley that finished a run of three goals inside a quarter of an hour.
MRU look to bounce back on October 14th against University of Victoria at home with kickoff ready for 11 am while the Panda hosts UBC at 2 pm in Edmonton.