Moraga, Calif. - After 110 minutes of physical action, the San Jose State men's soccer team and the Gaels of Saint Mary's College ended their meeting 0-0 in Saint Mary's Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Both teams record now stand at 1-0-1 on the season.
"We really turned a corner today," head coach Gary St. Clair said. "Teams really beat up on us physically. It's really hard to standup under that pressure and be able to play. It's hard to play this game when you have big brutes banging on you the entire time."
The teams combined for 37 fouls. Saint Mary's committed nine in each half and a total of 21 on the day.
With five saves, Spartans keeper Jonathan Lester earned his first clean sheet of the season and the 13th of his San Jose State career. He moves into a three-way tie for fourth place on the programs all-time list with Ryan Moore (1979-82) and Richard Mann (2005-08).
The majority of the first 45 minutes was played in the Spartans half of the field. The Gaels had the majority of the scoring opportunities and outshot the Spartans 8-to-3 including 3-to-1 in shots on goal.
San Jose State's best chance to score came in the last 30 seconds of the half. From 15-yards out, Craig Hertler collected the ball off a free kick from midfield. He fed it to Jose Cortez who was six yards out, to the left of Gaels' keeper Doug Herrick. Cortez's shot sailed over the crossbar and the sides went to halftime at 0-0.
In the second half the Spartans outshot Saint Mary's 8-to-5. The Gaels only real opportunity was in the 75th minute when Nathan Arambula collected a loose ball in the penalty area and fired ashot that went off the left post.
Five minutes later, at the 79:46 mark, Roberto Casteneda took a ball and dribbled in from 30-yards out to the top of the box. He fired a shot just over the crossbar.
In the 83rd minute, the Spartans had a couple of chances to put the game away. Nick Cashmere had a shot from in the box that Herrick saved and Cortez took another from the right wing that was booted away on the goal line by a defender.
"We weathered all that physical stuff and were able to settle and play our game," St. Clair said. "When Roberto Casteneda went in you could feel the momentum shifting from them to us. I haven't seen that in years (overcoming physical play) and it shows real maturity, that this team is relentless and will continue to play."
Each team got off three shots in the first overtime, with one each being on frame. In the second extra period neither team was able to get a shot off and the match ended 0-0.
"The difference between winning and losing at this levelis razor thin," St. Clair said. "Either team could have finished this game off. Both left everything on the field today and I was particularly prould of the way we performed."
Casteneda, Cortez, Cashmere, Dan Addiego and Dylan Murphy took two shots each, with all but Casteneda getting a shot on goal. Hertler, Diego Ochoa, Jonathan Salceda and Allen La Spina each took one shot for the Spartans. The Gaels were led By Julian Godinez's fours hots.
The Spartans return to action on Friday, September 9 and then again on Sunday, September 11 in Spartans Stadium. The matches are part of the San Jose State/Santa Clara Tournament. On Friday night the Spartans host the Vikings of Cleveland State in a 7:00 p.m. kickoff and on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks will be the Spartans opponent.