The Huskies took advantage of poor clearing in front of the Panther goal at the 70th minute and went on to score a second in the 85th minute to come out on top of a very close contest.
Saint Mary’s improved to 2-4-1 while UPEI falls to 3-4-0.
The first half was scoreless with few chances from either side. Saint Mary’s showed UPEI a different game in sending long balls in against the Panther back-line, creating more pressure than expected.
As the game rolled on it became apparent the team that made the first mistake would give up the game-winning goal. That happened in the 70th minute when a goal-mouth scramble netted Cian Tousignant-Osiadhail what proved to be the game winner. That forced UPEI to push up to go for a tying goal, which resulted in a penalty kick in the 85th minute as Panther keeper Brett Strba took a Huskies attacker down in the box. Raymond Crane converted the penalty kick and the game was decided.
“Until the goal was scored, defensively we were doing quite well,” said Panthers head coach Lewis Page. “It was a real low goal chance kind of game. We didn't do enough when we were in possession. We didn't create enough chances. Once the first goal went in it didn't matter, the chances just weren't there.”
The edge in stats went to the Huskies with 16 shots toward goal and nine on target while the Panthers were limited to nine shots toward goal and only three on target.
Saint Marys out-chanced UPEI 5-2 while the Panthers out-fouled the Huskies 9-2 with UPEI holding the edge in corner kicks 4-3.
The Panthers will lick their wounds and return home to play Cape Breton (5-0-1) Sunday at 3:15 p.m.
Jennifer Balderston’s third goal of the season proved to be the game-winning marker Friday as UPEI defeated Saint Mary’s 2-0 in women’s soccer action.
Balderston scored at 38:52 and the score held up until Jade Bellemare from Lauren Clark made it 2-0 at 80:25.
Ali Muise stopped all seven shots for the clean sheet and her first AUS victory.
The Panthers improved 4-2-1 while the Huskies (0-7-0) are in the basement of the 10-team circuit.
UPEI hosts the conference-leading Cape Breton Capers (6-0-0) Sunday at 1 p.m.