The Menlo College men's and women's soccer teams each finished with the same result in their Golden State Athletic Conference openers on Tuesday. The men played to a scoreless draw with visiting Biola. The women tied Biola, 1-1.
The Oaks men were on the attack for much of the hard-fought, physical contest but were never able to find the back of the net in their first year with the GSAC.
The first 45 minutes were about as evenly matched as they come. Each team fired off three shots with Oaks keeper Alex Coates-McDowall sending away two compared to one for Eagles keeper JT Addington.
Things got a bit more lopsided in the shots category in the second half with Biola putting the pressure on Menlo with nine total shots. Coates-McDowall and the stingy Menlo backline fended every Biola chance to force extra time.
Both teams had a great opportunity in the overtime period with Menlo getting a look at a nearly open net as time expired.
Stephen Levy's last ditch rip soared just high as time expired. Biola, on the other hand had two shots seemingly at point-blank range that Coates-McDowall sent away with his hands once and a tremendous foot save later.
In total the Menlo keeper sent away eight shots while Addington made five saves for the Eagles.
Menlo moves to 6-1-1 overall and 0-0-1 in the GSAC while extending its unbeaten streak to six consecutive matches.
Biola who was playing in its second consecutive overtime match after falling to UC Merced 2-1 on Wednesday, moves to 4-3-1 overall and 0-0-1 within the conference.
Next up for Menlo is a conference road test in Phoenix against Arizona Christian Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. following the women's match which starts at 10:30 a.m.
Menlo (4-1-4, 0-0-1) opened with an impressive performance against 14th ranked Biola (6-0-2, 0-0-1).
The Oaks scored in the 44th minute and then held off a strong Eagles attack until a slick goal in the 81st minute tied the match and forced overtime.
After the extra 20 minutes of action, neither team had found the back of the net resulting in the tie.
"Biola is a great team that is well coach and has good depth," Menlo coach Keith Lambert said. "Although we didn't get the win, I'm happy with the effort put forth by the entire team and I am pleased we went head to head for 110 minutes with one of the country's top teams."
Menlo came out of the gates with an evident enthusiasm and took it to Biola in their offensive third for much of the first 15 minutes of action.
Biola quickly matched Menlo's frenetic pace and it turned in to a back-and-forth affair for the first 43 minutes.
Just when it seemed Biola, who outshot the Oaks 8-5 in the first half, looked like they might break through and convert, Menlo put together a tremendous run.
Jocelyn Aguilar worked herself into space on the far side flank then entered a brilliant cross that was deflected by Raquel DeJesus back post to freshman Caitlyn Sorensen.
Sorensen made a run at the post, deflected the ball into the net then banged into the post for her first career goal.
The Oaks would take that 1-0 lead into the half and deep into the second half thanks to strong defense and a great job by keeper Kaylin Swart, who made six saves in the period and 12 on the afternoon.
Despite the strong effort, the Eagles' Taylor Venegas scored a goal off an Ashley Ramirez assist with just 4:15 remaining to tie the match. That sent it to overtime where each team combined for just four shots in the extra 20 minutes and played to a conference-opening draw.
"As a group we stuck to the game plan both offensively and defensively, and with the exception of one great goal by Biola, it paid off," noted Lambert. "We are hoping to build off the momentum created from today's game as well as learn from our mistakes so we can go to Arizona Christian and get a win on Saturday."