Matt Johnson, Huskie Athletics
SASKATOON – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds women's soccer team defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies 1-0 in a well-fought match after a 74th minute strike proved to be the difference, on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Field 7 inside Nutrien Park.
Thunderbirds midfielder Melissa Bustos scored the lone goal of the game, with her third goal of the season holding up as the decisive moment in the match.
Rookie Huskies goalkeeper Hope Pelk made seven saves for the home side, while Emily Moore was strong between the pipes for the Thunderbirds. The third-year keeper picked up the clean sheet and was sturdy when tested, stopping all three of the shots she faced
The Thunderbirds move to 9-2-0 on the season with the victory, which marks their sixth consecutive win. While the loss drops the Huskies record to 2-5-4, keeping the club at fifth in the Prairie division.
Just three minutes into the match, the Huskies were presented with a glorious scoring opportunity as a long ball from the back line was flicked through by Payton Izsak. The ball found a streaking Taneil Gay who broke in alone on net, but her shot was stopped by Moore.
The Thunderbirds responded with chances of their own in 4th and 9th minute; however, Amelia Crawford and Margaret Hadley's shots were both stopped and corralled by Pelk.
In the 36th minute, Olivia Fredrickson had a fantastic look at her first-career U SPORTS goal, but the rookie midfielders strike from inside the area sailed high.
Just before the conclusion of the first half, the Thunderbirds hopped onto the counter-attack. Danielle Steer's cross inside the box for Emma Cunningham found the waiting arms of Pelk, who shut down the scoring chance.
Both teams played a stern defensive style for the majority of the second half, as scoring opportunities were few and far between. However, the breakthrough of the match happened in the 74th minute when the Thunderbirds caught the Huskies with numbers going forward. Steer's shot on goal was saved but Bustos booted home the go-ahead-goal, sealing the win for the road-side.
Both clubs will be back in action on Oct. 14, as the Huskies will play host to the Victoria Vikes in their final home game of the 2018 Canada West Campaign with the match taking place at 12 p.m. at Field 7 in Nurtien Park. Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds will travel south from Saskatoon and into Regina to battle the Cougars.