Lance Doucet, Calgary Sports Information
CALGARY – A goal in 89th minute by Brenna Mattiello spoiled the first-ever game at Dinosaur Field as the University of Alberta Pandas knocked off the Calgary Dinos 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.
After a scoreless opening half, the Dinos and Pandas looked destined to settle for one point each until Sydney Daines directed the ball into the box where Mattiello got a piece of it to elude Dinos goalkeeper Lauren Houghton.
"We know it was going to be difficult against Alberta, they are a good team and whenever we play them it is certainly a battle," said Dinos head coach Troye Flannery. "It came down to one decision or one mistake; they came hard and were ready to fight."
With high winds causing issues for both teams in the opening half, neither side was able to find the back of the net. Houghton made four first-half saves, while her counterpart Rebecca Reif stopped three shots.
The Dinos scored their first goal of 2018 in the 62nd minute when a substitution quickly paid off. With the ball laying in front of the net, Reif attempted to punch it out. The ball ended up on the foot of Taylor Dangerfield though, who made no mistake opening the scoring with a heavy shot.
The lead did not last long for Calgary as Alberta responded in the 67th minute. A free kick by Kate Dunn found Morgan Corbett beside the left post where she headed the ball past Houghton and in.
The game remained close heading into the final minutes when the fourth-year Panda Mattiello ended the tie.
"We generated our fair share of chances today, but certainly had momentum at times because they play so forward," added Flannery. "This is two good teams, a boxing match throwing jabs and uppercuts trying to knock the other one out."
Houghton finished the game with seven saves on nine shots on goal. Reif turned aside eight of the nine shots on net by the Dinos.
The Dinos will look to respond on Sunday afternoon as they return to Dinosaur Field to play the Mount Royal Cougars, while the Pandas will travel further south to face the Lethbridge Pronghorns.