The men’s soccer team is off to a hot start to their 2016 season, capturing victories in both of their match-ups from this past weekend. The Judges began the weekend with a 3-1 victory over John Carroll University on Saturday. The squad finished their weekend strong with a 1-0 upset over sixth-ranked Haverford College on Sunday afternoon, making a clear statement that the team will be a force to be reckoned with this coming season. 

Brandeis 1, Haverford College 0

The Judges faced off against nationally ranked Haverford College on Sunday afternoon in their first serious test of the season. The squad jumped out to a quick lead when midfielder Brandon Miskin ’18 hammered home a perfectly placed pass from forward Zach Vieira ’17 with 32:35 remaining in the first half. The Judges never looked back, holding their 1-0 lead with stifling defense and savvy time management. 

The victory brings the Judges to 2-0 on the young season and should serve as a momentum builder for the squad. The loss drops Haverford College to 1-1 on the year. 

Brandeis 3, John Carroll 1

The men’s team began the weekend with an easy victory over John Carroll University. Midfielder Josh Ocel ’17 played hero for the Judges, having a hand in all three of the team’s goals. 

Ocel opened the scoring in the ninth minute when his free quick miraculously made it through a crowd of John Carroll defenders and found the back of the net. The Blue Streaks then evened the score 33 minutes in, when junior Jesse Marinaro headed home a blistering free kick. 

The Judges did not take long to reclaim the lead, scoring the game-winning goal 51 minutes into the game. Ocel again generated the goal, setting up midfielder Patrick Flahive ’18 for a header off of a free kick. The Judges swarming defense limited John Carroll’s offensive opportunities, and another Ocel goal 63 minutes in put the game out of reach. The victory was a solid way for the squad to start the season and hopefully foreshadows a great deal of success to come. 

The victory brought the Judges to 1-0 on the season. The loss dropped John Carroll to 0-1. 

Ocel, who had a total of four goals in his 2015 campaign, has come close to surpassing his previous season record. At his current pace Ocel is looking at a whopping 16 goals on the season. Only time will tell if he can keep up his ferocious pace or lose his composure trying. 

Looking ahead, the Judges face Nichols College on Wednesday and Babson College on Saturday. The squad hopes to build off their strong start by riding a wave of momentum throughout the season. 

Last season the Judges narrowly beat each team 1-0. Babson pushed the Judges to the limit, forcing a double-overtime game. The Judges look to eliminate Babson in regulation this time around.