This past weekend, the University reached a new athletic peak: placing two teams in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.

This is the first time in the history of the program that the women’s soccer team has reached this stage, and it is the first time the men’s soccer squad has reached the final weekend in over 30 years. This board would like to congratulate the two teams and wish them luck as they battle to bring an NCAA title to Waltham.

Neither team was expected to get this far in the tournament, as the Final Four should, in theory, feature the top 4 teams in the nation. The women’s team began the NCAAs ranked No. 23 in the country, while the men were ranked outside of the top 25. Both squads had rocky seasons in which they showcased elite talent but little consistency. However, they have been able to stay true to the old sports adage of “getting hot at the right time,” and have battled their way to the Final Four.

It has not been smooth sailing during the tournament, as the men and women were both tested by playing in two overtime games each. They have represented the University exceptionally by battling through this adversity and upsetting the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country, for the women and men, respectively.

Off the field, these squads are just as impressive, as this season they both were granted the distinction of a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Award for their academic achievements. Coupled with an athletic feat that the University has never witnessed, the soccer programs are an ideal example of what Brandeis strives to instill in its students: academic excellence complemented by an energetic enthusiasm and greatness in one’s passions.

The University’s athletic teams have only won two NCAA Championships in the school’s entire history, the men’s soccer team in 1976 and the men’s cross country team in 1983. The soccer programs will have the ability to add to that legacy in two weekends, when the Final Four takes place in Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. While the games will not be played at Brandeis, this board encourages students to tune into the live stream and support the Judges. It is not a secret that sports are not a priority for much of the University, but this does not have to be the case. If there were ever a time for the student body to rally around our impressive student athletes, now would be it. Roll ’Deis Roll!