EDMONTON - For the second time this season the MacEwan Griffins shocked the Alberta Pandas with a goal in added time, as they upset the conference's top-ranked Pandas 2-1 in their Canada West quarter-final, Sunday afternoon at Foote Field.
Kaylin Hermanutz headed in a cross in the 90th minute, as the Griffins advance to the Canada West Final Four next weekend. It will be the second-straight Final Four appearance for the Griffins, who earned a Canada West bronze medal last season in Langley, BC.
Had the Pandas won, they would've hosted the conference championship in Edmonton, as they finished the season tops in the Prairie Division with a 10-2-2 overall record. One of those losses, however, came early in the season against MacEwan, who shocked the Pandas with a 1-0 win in at Clarview Field in September.
Meghan Oram also scored for MacEwan in the upset win, while Karissa McNutt scored the lone Pandas goal. This also marks the third-straight season the Pandas have lost their quarter-final match.
The Pandas opened the playoff match well, owning a majority of the possession, as well as most of the scoring chances. Despite their strong play to open the match, MacEwan scored first in the 18th minute. Jamie Erickson sent a perfect cross into the Alberta box, finding the head of Ohram, who headed in a gorgeous goal into the bottom left of the Panda net. The Pandas performed admirably looking for the equalizer with nine first-half shots, however only one found the target, which was stopped by MacEwan keeper Emily Burns.
The U SPORTS No. 7 ranked Pandas opened the second half with some urgency, once again holding on to the ball for large stretches of time. Alberta fired another 14 shots in the second half, finally evening the match in the 73rd. Team captain Jamie Pasemko's corner kick caused a scramble in the MacEwan crease, before an unmarked McNutt slipped through the defence and buried a shot from five yards out.
While the game seemed destined for extra time, the Griffins completed the shocking upset with the game-winner in added time.
The Griffins will travel either to Trinity Western or Calgary for the conference championship next weekend.