Judges have won seven of last eight matches
The men’s soccer team continued to steamroll its way to the postseason this past week, picking up two big wins against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University. The squad opened its week with a 3-1 beat-down of cross-town rival MIT and followed that impressive victory with a Homecoming triumph against No. 11 Carnegie Mellon.
After dropping its first game of the season, the men’s squad is 7-1 in its last eight matches, flexing its muscles in both conference and non-conference play. As the season unfolds and the team gets better, there should be little doubt that the squad is primed for another deep run this postseason. Their talent is undeniable, and it will be exciting for loyal fans to see if the team can continue to thrive moving forward.
Judges 2, Carnegie Mellon 0
The Judges rounded out the week with a signature win against No. 11-ranked conference foe Carnegie Mellon. The Judges used their characteristically stifling defense to blank the Tartans in a wire-to-wire victory.
The squad opened scoring in the ninth minute when midfielder Alex Walter ’20 headed home a beautiful set-up from midfielder Dylan Hennessey ’20 to give the Judges a 1-0 lead. The squad added an insurance goal in the 32nd minute when forward Josh Ocel ’17 netted a beautifully angled corner kick for his third goal of the season. The score is Ocel’s 17th goal in his illustrious Brandeis career.
The Judges would need no other offense beyond Walter’s header, as the squad’s defensive tenacity proved sufficient in blanking Carnegie Mellon. The Tartans could not break through star goalkeeper Ben Woodhouse’s ’18 box, as the respected keeper finished with a career-high 11 saves for the squad. Of those 11 saves, 10 came during crunch time in the second half of play. While the Judges were outshot 22-8 by the Tartans, they were able to pull out the victory because of superior offensive execution and suffocating defensive effort.
The victory brings the Judges to 8-2-0 on the season and is sure to result in a leap in national rankings for the squad. The loss drops Carnegie Mellon to 8-2-1 on the year.
Judges 3, MIT 1
The Judges kicked off their week with a match against the MIT Engineers on the home pitch at Gordon Field. The Judges drew first blood in the 39th minute when Hennessy fired a free kick into the Engineers’ box, where it was then headed by an MIT defender into the back of the net for an own-goal. After a slow offensive start, that fortunate break was exactly what the Judges needed to generate momentum and jump-start their offensive attack. The Judges struck again in the 43rd minute when Hennessey netted a beautiful assist from midfielder Bernardo Ponte ’18, this time scoring with intention and gusto. The squad tacked on another goal just 31 seconds before the end of the first half, when forward Andrew Allen ’19 assisted star midfielder Joshua Handler ’19 for an easy score. The crucial goal was the midfielder’s third of the 2017 season.
After struggling for the majority of the game, MIT finally broke through in the 80th minute when freshman forward Loukas Carayannopolous netted a 20-yard fireball that wowed the crowd and put the Engineers on the board. The goal was not enough to turn momentum MIT’s way, however, as the Judges cruised for the rest of the match to a 3-1 statement win. The Judges outshot MIT 18-8 on the game, with a 7-3 edge in corner kicks. Goalkeeper Greg Irwin ’20 got the victory for the Judges, finishing with four saves in a match that allowed star keeper Woodhouse a night of rest.
The victory brings the Judges to 7-2-0 on the season. The loss drops the Engineers to 4-4-2 for the year.
Looking ahead, the Judges square off against the University of Rochester on Friday. The team then heads to Georgia to battle time-tested foe Emory University on Sunday.