Men’s loss snaps long win streak
The men’s soccer team wrapped up their up-and-down season on Saturday with another scoreless loss, this one coming against New York University. The loss snaps the Judges’ incredible five-game winning streak, yet the team was able to secure a national playoff berth all the same. The Judges were on the fence going into the month, but with their sudden offensive reversal, the team has managed to slide into the National Collegiate Athletic Assocation playoff bracket. With a five game win streak in the bitter cold, the team was able to secure a resounding winning record for the reuglar season.
NYU 1, Judges 0
In a game of little action, the only excitement came in the 24th minute, when NYU senior forward Tristan Medios-Simon blasted a free kick over the head of Judges goalie Ben Woodhouse ’18. The Judges could never get into a rhythm on offense, despite holding a 7-1 shots advantage, after Medios-Simon’s goal.
The Judges edged NYU in shots-on-goal 11-6 and corner kicks 6-3 but failed to turn any of those opportunities into goals. It seems fitting that the Judges ended their season in a low-scoring affair, as their stifling defense has never been enough to compensate for their ineffective offense. The shutout is the Judges’ sixth of the season.
The loss drops the Judges to 10-5-3 on the season, including 3-2-2 in UAA play. The win brings NYU to 9-7-2 on the year, including 3-4-0 in UAA play.
Looking ahead, the Judges secured a first-round National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Tournament game. The selection show revealed that the team will be making a fifth-straight tournament appearance. At season’s end, the Judges were ranked fourth in New England in recent polls. Never before had the Judges’ fate been so up in the air, but players and fans alike are now hoping for more chances to see the squad lace up and hit the turf.
With the regular season in the books, it is time to look at the team’s 2016 season statistics. In 18 games, the team mustered 27 goals (1.5 goals-per game), an accurate reflection of their overall offensive struggles. Those 27 goals are even more underwhelming considering the team averaged 14.1 shots per game for the season. Star midfielder Josh Ocel ’17 finished the season leading the team in both goals and assists, wrapping up the year with five and 11, respectively. Forward Andrew Allen ’19 finished the season with four goals, tied for second with midfielder Patrick Flahive ’18 and forward Evan Jastremski ’17.
Woodhouse finished the season with an impressive stat line, totaling an incredible 65 saves and seven beautiful shutouts for the year. In a season of bitter ups and downs, Woodhouse was one of the lone models of consistency for the Judges.
All things considered, the Judges had a successful season, further strengthening an already strong program. The team earned eight fewer victories than in their 2015 campaign but lost only two more games. Their conference record took a tough hit, falling from a near perfect 6-1 record to 3-2-2 this year. Their win percentage also dropped markedly from .841 to .639. The squad still performed well in front of the home crowd, winning a respectable five of eight and tying in only one of those matches.
The men took the league by surprise with a selection in the national playoff bracket. The team will face off in the C pool against Western New England University on Nov. 12 as they contend for the ultimate title.
The team deserves high praise for their grit, their resilience and the commendable manner in which they represent the Brandeis name.