The men’s soccer team was back in action this past week, picking up two big wins against Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Elms College. While WPI put up a fight, the Judges steamrolled Elms College in an embarrassing 6-0 route. Since dropping their first match of the season, the squad has reeled off four straight victories. The team, now nationally ranked No. 20 in Division III, is doing good work in proving their pre-season No. 4 ranking was no fluke. 

Judges 6, Elms College 0

The Judges wrapped up their week with an easy victory over the Elms College Blazers. The Brandeis squad broke out of the gate on fire, netting three goals in the first half. The scoring was initiated by a corner kick from forward Josh Ocel ’17 that found the back of the net in the 11th minute. The team showed no mercy from there, with forward Jake Warren ’20 dazzling the home crowd with two consecutive goals in the 24th and 32nd minutes. Though the squad had a comfortable 3-0 cushion over the Blazers, they did not let up in their attack, converting another goal in the 48th minute in the form of a long-range header from a corner kick by defenseman Stephen Depieto ’19, assisted by midfielder Noah Gans ’21. As if 4-0 was not enough, midfielder Joshua Handler ’19 jumped in on the action in the 55th minute, netting the team’s fifth goal. Finally, forward Patrick Flahive ’18 rounded out the offensive action with a beautiful goal in the 56th minute, assisted by midfielder Max Breiter ’20.

By game’s end, the Judges had outshot Elms College 30-1, utilizing all 27 active players in what proved to be an offensive outburst to remember. The Blazers lone shot attempt came in the 77th minute. Beyond that singular opportunity, none of the Judges’ three goalies were seriously tested in at least 25 minutes of action each. Elms freshman keeper Julian Brosi ended the match with seven saves. 

The victory brings the Judges to 4-1-0 on the season. The loss drops the Blazers to 0-5-0 on the year. 

Judges 2, WPI 1

The squad began this week’s action with a home duel against a familiar foe in the WPI Engineers. The visiting team drew first blood in the 38th minute when senior back Derrick Naugler assisted junior forward Spencer Ralphs on a beautifully executed header, giving the Engineers the only goal of the first half. The Judges were outshot 4-2 in the half, failing to muster any significant offensive attacks. 

The squad, however, turned up the intensity in the second half, outshooting WPI 16-2 and finally breaking through in the 79th minute. In a scintillating display of offensive cohesion, midfielder Max Breiter ’20 sent a cross through the Engineer’s box, facilitating a strike from forward Josh Berg ’18. After collecting the pass and honing his focus, Berg blasted the ball inside the left goal post for his first goal of the season. The Judges were unable to take the lead before the end of regulation. 

During overtime, Brandeis had a solid offensive look in the 97th minute when Gans nearly snuck a shot past Engineers keeper Reese Petersen, but it ultimately failed to break through. The Judges finally came through in the 100th minute when Ocel set up a golden goal for forward Mike Lynch ’18, giving the team yet another thrilling victory against its competitive, longtime foe. 

Brandeis has a 7-0-1 advantage over WPI in their last eight meetings, and a 27-12-2 overall record. The victory brought the Judges to 3-1-0 on the season and dropped WPI to 3-2-0. 

Looking ahead, the Judges will play Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and duel against Tufts University on Friday at 7 p.m.