The Montana soccer team played to a 0-0 draw against San Jose State Friday evening in San Jose, Calif.
The Grizzlies move to 4-2-2 with the tie, while the Spartans, who made the NCAA tournament last season as the Mountain West Conference tournament champions, are 2-2-3.
“They are the defending Mountain West champion, so to go on the road and come away with a result, you can’t be too upset about that, especially when I thought we showed some fight, which was a good step forward,” said coach Mark Plakorus.
“We started to find ourselves again, and that was really good to see. We showed our will and competitive fight again.”
San Jose State, which entered the match having scored three goals in six matches this season while allowing the same number, finished with a 15-6 advantage in shots taken, but that was mostly the result of an 8-2 edge in the first half.
“They came out very differently than I expected them to,” said Plakorus. “They really came after us and high-pressed us, and tried to up-tempo the game. They were very physical with us and caused us some problems.”
All eight of the Spartans’ first-half shots came in the opening 24 minutes, mostly before any substitutions were made.
“When we made some subs, the bench players came in and raised the level and got us back into the game,” said Plakorus. “Things kind of evened out after that. In the second half and overtime, I thought it was a very even game and very up and down.”
Both teams’ best chances came on second balls off set pieces. San Jose State had a shot that Griz senior goalkeeper Kailey Norman, who earned her 20th career shutout, got just enough of to send wide off the post.
Montana’s came in the 99th minute, when Aspen Peifer, seeing her first action of the season, sent one wide.
“We had a ball that bounced that Aspen got a really good look at,” said Plakorus. “She pushed it about a foot wide of the goal.
“Other than that, neither team had any great looks. It was just a physical, hard-fought game.”
Montana will play at Fresno State (3-3-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m. (MT). The Bulldogs hosted Saint Mary’s Friday night.