The Montana soccer team, which took a 1-0 lead into the final five minutes of regulation, played to a 1-1 draw with Sacramento State Friday afternoon at Hornet Field in Sacramento, Calif.
Madison Adams put the Grizzlies (5-4-3, 1-1-1 BSC) ahead with a goal in the 51st minute, her second in two matches, but the Hornets (3-4-4, 1-0-2 BSC), who went to overtime for the seventh time in 11 matches this season, found the equalizer in the 86th minute on a Kassidy Kellogg header.
Montana’s Kailey Norman and Sacramento State’s Destiny Butcher, the Big Sky Conference’s leaders in goals-against average, both made a pair of saves in overtime to keep the match tied. Norman made a season-high seven saves, Butcher finished with six.
“I thought we fought really well today. It’s always tough when you come on the road, but our kids competed today and gave themselves a chance to get a win,” said coach Mark Plakorus. “It was great to see my team fight again.”
The match was scoreless at the half, but just barely. Kayla Collins beat Norman less than two minutes into the game, but outside back Chanelle Pederson had her keeper’s back and cleared the ball off the line.
“We played a different system against this team today, and right off the bat they got in behind us and got a good look,” Plakorus said.
In the 18th minute Collins put a shot off the crossbar, and in the 24th minute Jennifer Lum took a shot that was saved by Norman. The rebound was sent into the goal, but the Hornets were whistled for being offside.
Sacramento State outshot Montana 9-3 in the opening 45 minutes.
Montana opened the scoring at 50:21. Ashlee Pedersen put a shot on goal that was saved by Butcher, but she left a rebound, which Adams put away for her second career goal and second in two matches. She scored the game-winner in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Idaho State.
It was Pedersen’s fourth career assist.
The Hornets were limited to just four shots through the opening 40 minutes of the second half, but with the clock under five minutes, Sacramento State scored the tying goal.
Mikayla Reed played the ball in from the right side and Kellogg headed it in for her second goal of the season.
“Unfortunately we gave up the late goal, but I’m really proud that we didn’t let that bother us,” said Plakorus, whose team outshot the Hornets 4-2 in overtime. “We just kept competing.
“Some teams give up a late goal and get so deflated that they give up a goal in overtime and lose it. We gathered ourselves and kept attacking and had some great looks in overtime.”
Plakorus sent 21 players to the field, which should help as his team travels north to face Portland State, which played to a 0-0 draw at home against Eastern Washington on Friday, in less than 48 hours.
That it was 21 players came as a surprise. Midfielder Kaitlin Crowell was considered doubtful after spraining her ankle at practice earlier in the week. She ended up playing 78 minutes.
“We had some gutsy performances today,” said Plakorus. “The fact that Kaitlin played as much as she did was shocking to me. I didn’t think she was going to be able to play at all. It was good to see the kids fighting like they did.”
Montana and Portland State (2-8-1, 0-2-1 BSC) meet at 2 p.m. (MT) on Sunday.
In other Big Sky matches Friday, Weber State (3-1 over Northern Arizona), Idaho State (2-1 over North Dakota) and Idaho (2-0 over Northern Colorado) all picked up home wins.