The Gonzaga Bulldogs pulled off their third win of the season with a 1 – 0 win over the Montana Grizzlies. This was the Grizzlies' first loss, putting Gonzaga at 3-1 overall and bumping them up to third place in the West Coast Conference standings, only one game back from both BYU and San Diego.
Gonzaga started the game off hot, scoring the winning goal just 8 minutes into the game. Redshirt senior India Jencks broke through Montana’s defense and passed the ball to Freshman Lauren Elwer in the middle of the box who took the shot on goal. Gonzaga would go on to attempt a few other similar shots during the half, but all were stopped by Montana goalie, Claire Howard.
Gonzaga continued to possess the ball well throughout the rest of the first half, only allowing the Griz to take one off-target shot in the first 45 minutes.
However, the Bulldogs began to lose steam during the second half. Montana was able to get possession of the ball more and took more shots on goal. Despite this, some good defensive plays on the part of Gonzaga kept Montana scoreless.
Gonzaga had a late-game scare when the Grizzlies drove down the field with two minutes left to set up a last-second cross to attempt to tie the game up. However, a great save by redshirt senior Isabel Jones sealed the deal for Gonzaga as time expired.
Head coach Chris Watkins thought the loss of production in the second half was something that could be improved upon.
“I felt like we just did not match their intensity in the second half especially,” he said. “We just were not as hungry. I want players who are committed to just showing up and being their best."
While Watkins saw some work for improvement, he was still happy with the win and reasserted that this team can compete in the WCC come conference play.
“They came out hard, they came out fighting,” Elwer said. “I definitely think we could have played better, but we got the win in the end and that’s what matters.”
The team will return to Luger Field Sept. 5 to host the 3-0 Washington State Cougars.