The Case Western Reserve University men's soccer team opened University Athletic Association competition on Saturday, playing Brandeis University to a scoreless tie on the road in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The Spartans moved to 8-1-1 on the year with the tie, including a 3-0-1 record in overtime games this season, while extending their undefeated streak to eight games. Brandeis, which reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Championships last year, went to 4-4-1 on the campaign following Saturday's draw.
The Spartans held the majority of chances in the first half, outshooting the Judges 8-2 in the opening period, including a 3-0 edge in shots on goal. However, the defenses would win out over the first 45 minutes, with the teams heading into the break knotted in a scoreless tie.
CWRU defense continued to limit Brandeis' chances in the second half, holding the Judges without a shot on goal until the 67th minute of the game. The Judges continued to increase the pressure on the Spartans' defense as the second half went on, but despite an 11-5 edge in shots during the period for Brandeis, the CWRU defense was able to hold tight, as the game remained scoreless through regulation.
The Spartans regained momentum in the first overtime period, taking the first three shots of the frame, but it took a diving save from CWRU freshman goalkeeper Charlie Fink in the 99th minute to prevent a Brandeis victory. The Spartans would continue to maintain possession for the start of the second overtime period, but could not convert the difference maker, and were able to withstand a late push by the Judges, as the game ended without a goal.
The shutout was the fifth of the season for the Spartans, including the fourth individual clean sheet for Fink, who stands at 8-1-1 on the season following Saturday's result. Making his conference debut, Fink recorded five saves (one short of his season high), raising his save percentage to .824, while lowering his goals against average to 0.61.
Junior midfielders Garrett Winter and Marques Manta each registered a team-leading four shots, with two shots on goal. CWRU finished the game with a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal, while the Judges held a 20-16 edge in total shots during the game.
Saturday's game was the first CWRU men's soccer game to end in a scoreless tie since a 0-0 draw at DePauw on September 3, 2017, and their first scoreless tie in UAA play since a 0-0 contest against Chicago on Friday, October 28, 2016.
The Spartans will be back in action next week, kicking off a five-match home stand with a non-conference matchup against Hiram College at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3rd at DiSanto Field in Cleveland, Ohio.