Sept. 27, 2009
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In what would prove to be a tight match throughout, Santa Clara and San Jose State played to a 0-0 draw Sunday night at Spartan Stadium in downtown San Jose.
Santa Clara (2-4-2) survived a 22-shot attack from SJSU, while its own offense managed just two shots on goal. The Broncos were held scoreless for the third time this year.
"Early in the season we were conceding too many goals," said Santa Clara Head Coach Cameron Rast. "We've made some adjustments in the back and quite honestly I think our defense is really solid right now. That part had to be solved to make a run at conference. Now the other part is to get the attack into place."
San Jose State (2-6-1) threatened right up to the final horn. Nick Cukar nearly won it for SJSU in the first overtime, left-footing one of his seven shots off the far post.
Larry Jackson, Santa Clara's freshman keeper and the SCU backers were busy immediately after the introductions, as SJSU produced five corner kicks and put four shots on goal in the first half. Playing his best game collegiate game to-date, Jackson totaled six saves and was fantastic for the entire 110 minutes.
"Solid, no mental errors, no late goals," Jackson said about his effort Sunday. "Everyday I'm learning, trying to read things before they happen. If you can kill their chances before they begin you put yourself in position to get a result."
Santa Clara wasn't entirely without its chances. The first of two free kicks inside the final 15 minutes before intermission nearly produced the game's first goal and an SCU lead. Moments later a perfectly-weighted lead pass by midfielder Murphy Campbell positioned the Broncos to strike before the break but SJSU's defense held.
The intensity and physicality of the game increased in the second half, with the first chance on goal happening immediately when Erik Hurtado put a scare into the home crowd by dribbling into space, only to have his breakaway shot blocked by a trailing defender.
Jackson stoned Nick Murphy's try from 20 yards out, leaping high to swat-away a would-be SJSU goal in the 60th minute.
In the waning moments of the second half Campbell elevated over the SJSU defense, driving a header just wide.
Both teams would play into overtime for the second-straight match. Cukar's blast off the post was either team's best chance at winning it.
MATCH NOTES: The match was played on the FieldTurf surface at Spartan Stadium dominated by the football yard-markers and painted end zones just one day after SJSU's football team played Cal-Poly SLO... Santa Clara starting midfielder Brandon Zimmerman sat out the match due to card accumulation, senior starter Chris Sauter (sprained ankle) missed his second consecutive game - Zimmerman is expected to play Friday against Portland... Santa Clara is now 3-0-3 vs. SJSU in the past six meetings, tying last season 1-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium... The Spartans had won both of its home matches prior to Sunday, including an impressive 4-1 victory over then-No. 25 UC Davis on September 1.