EDMONTON - The University of Alberta Pandas opened their 2017 women's soccer conference season with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over the University of Calgary Dinos, Saturday afternoon at Foote Field.
First-year forward Georgia Tansley scored the game's only goal, while third-year keeper Cassie Bazzarelli made four saves for the shutout.
Sophomore midfielder Sienna Prince-McPherson led the Dinos on the scoresheet with five shots and two shots on goal.
The first half was an example of two teams getting back into the groove as they started their seasons, playing hesitantly as the two provincial opponents tried to find cracks in the other squad's system.
Fourth-year Panda Karissa McNutt had the best chance in the opening half when she made a stellar run down the right side, but her cross into the middle couldn't find another Panda in time, before the Dinos cleared the ball from their box.
Calgary came on strong with offensive pressure to end the first half, but the Panda rearguards returned the favour, boxing out the Dinos or cutting off any passes.
The road team earned the first chance of the second half in the 59th minute, as freshman defender Maya Ida capitalizing on a scramble around the Alberta net with Bazzarelli out of position, only to have the Panda defence come up big again with a great save on the goal line before second-year forward Montana Leonard put the rebound wide.
The Pandas finally opened the scoring in the 66th minute, as senior midfielder Jamie Pasemko executed a set play, sailing a long cross from just inside half to Tansley, with the Calgary-native grabbing control and firing near side for the game-winner.
The Dinos' best chance to equalize late in the game was on a quick run down the middle from fourth-year forward Zoe Kreutzer in the 85th minute, but sophmore midfielder Anna Dunn overpowered the Edmonton native to snuff out the opportunity.
The 0-1 Dinos now head back to Calgary to face off against Mount Royal on Cougars turf, while the 1-0 Pandas remain at home to host the Lethbridge Pronghorns at Foote Field. Game start at 2 p.m. MT, with the full 90 minutes available on Canada West TV