Cougars claw back and earn 3-3 draw with T-Birds

Cougars claw back and earn 3-3 draw with T-Birds

Dan Khavkin, Cougar Athletics

CALGARY- Mount Royal Cougars hosted Univerisity of British Columbia Thunderbirds in their final home game of the season at Cougar Stadium field.

The Thunderbirds got on the board twice early in the first half and unexpectedly conceded three in a row to close the first half.

A third goal in the latter portion of the second half salvaged UBC a point against the Cougars, drawing the match 3-3.

The first half was filled with action and the visiting T-Birds started the fun right from kickoff.

UBC broke through MRU's defence line and managed to solve second-year Cougar goalkeeper Miah Godek.

This was Godek's fourth showing of the season and first at home.

Georgia Braunstein's initial shot was saved but the rebound bounced right to Liesanne Musico's feet, who tapped in a rebound on the hopeless Cougar keeper only 30 seconds into the game.

T-Birds doubled their lead at 2-0 only eight minutes after the first tally.

Aman Shergill danced her way from the lower end of the box, cut in the middle, and winded up a shot that was blocked by a defender.

She buried her own rebound past a down-and-out Godek.

Red flags started going off for the Cougars that needed just one win to secure a playoff berth.

The Cougars responded in the 13th minute when Carly Nies threaded the needle for Haley Nicholson who just beat Thunderbird keeper Emily Moore, who took out the surging forward as the ball was rolling under her.

A momentum swing was apparent and lead to MRU pressing with intent.

Rookie Julien Ramirez tied the match at 2-2 when she floated a ball that fooled Moore on its way in. The ball was changed direction at the last second and the ball got past her hands.

MRU took their first lead of the game in the 28th from a corner kick that resulted in Neis smashing the ball through the wickets of Moore and helped her team take a 3-2 lead heading into halftime.

In the second half, the Cougars chose to take a defensive approach in the attempt to close out the T-Birds, opting to sit back and defend to the whistle.

UBC was on the press throughout the whole duration of the half, creating havoc for MRU who held on for so long until the 74th minute.

Shergill ran down the MRU goal line and pinged the ball towards the near-post and was deflected by Jasmin Dhanda, breaking Cougar hopes.

MRU had a golden chance to steal three points inside injury time.

Ramirez pressed solo and stuffed a T-Bird defender and sprung her self with Neis on a two-on-one but her pass took a bounce before it reached her partner, allowing for Moore to collect the ball.

UBC sit third place in the Pacific already holding a playoff spot with a game in hand on MacEwen. MRU is fourth in the Praire Division.

"(The feeling in the locker room is) very energetic, we were happy to play the two top B.C. teams and get the results we got against them," Cougars captain and fifth-year senior Emily Sands commented post-match.

Two games left for both teams as UBC have meetings with Fraser Valley and Trinity Western, while MRU has a Crowchild Classic matchup with huge playoff implication against the University of Calgary Dinos and then Lethbridge Horns' on the last match day of the season.