Tanner Michalenko, Saskatchewan Sports Information Student Assistant
SASKATOON – Fifth-year striker Leesa Eggum scored two goals with less than five minutes remaining as the University of Saskatchewan Huskies stole the victory, beating the Lethbridge Pronghorns 2-1 at Field 7 in PotashCorp Park on Saturday afternoon.
The clutch performance by the Huskies in crunch time gives them there third straight victory, while the Pronghorns drop their second in a row.
The Huskies put on the pressure Pronghorn goalkeeper Micaela Stone throughout the match. Second-year striker Taneil Gay had two quality scoring chances early on, however Stone was up to the task, making critical stops for her team to keep the game scoreless.
Not long after Gay had chances to open up the scoring, the Pronghorns capitalized on a fast break. Naomi Perkins was in the middle of three Huskies chasing down the loose ball before she broke loose and let a strike go from outside the box. Perkins' left footed rocket found the top right corner of the net, leaving Huskie goalkeeper Jadyn Steinhauer with no chance.
The Pronghorns would take the 1-0 lead into halftime.
Early in the second half, Stone was able to keep everything in front of her as the Huskies desperately searched for the equalizer. In the 72nd minute, the Huskies came close to tying things up, however Stone was bailed out by a goalies' best friend. Jacqueline Altrogge sent a cross into the box where it would ricochet off of teammate Maya Gabruch before hitting the post and rolling out of bounds.
With time running out, Huskies coach Jerson Barancida-Hamilton sent in trusted striker Leesa Eggum in the 76th minute. The late second half substitution turned out to be the turning point for the Huskies.
In the 85th minute, Megan Ripplinger's nifty moves beat the Pronghorn defence and sent a shot on net from down low in the box. Her initial shot was stopped but the rebound was smashed in by Eggum to tie up the game with less than five minutes remaining.
Eggum wasn't done there. In the very last minute of play, Taneil Gay sent a beautiful feed from the left side of the box to Eggum, situated right in front of the Pronghorn net. Eggum made no mistake and tapped in the pretty ball with ease, stealing the win for the Huskies after a hard fought game.
Huskie goalkeeper Steinhauer made eight saves, while her counterpart for the Pronghorns made 12 saves in the action packed contest.
The Huskies play the latter part of the weekend schedule vs the University of Calgary Dinos tomorrow at 12 P.M. at Field 7 in PotashCorp Park. While the Pronghorns move on to play Regina to complete their road trip.