The men’s soccer team had a challenging slate of games this past week, facing off against two formidable opponents in Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago. The squad opened the week with a nail-biter, narrowly edging WashU in a riveting golden-goal victory in double-overtime. The team, however, could not keep its good fortunes going into its contest against University Athletic Association rival UChicago. In a tight match between the two postseason regulars, UChicago was able to pull out a victory over a Brandeis squad that continues to struggle against elite opponents.

Judges 0, UChicago 1

The Judges ended their week with a heartbreaking loss to perennial powerhouse University of Chicago — their first home defeat of the season. The loss is made more bitter since Chicago is one of the Judges’ UAA rivals. 

The match started relatively slowly, with the Maroons owning an 8-6 shot advantage in the first half. The Judges saw a serious opportunity to score in the 38th minute, when forward Marino Espiga ’18 had his shot attempt blocked by Chicago rookie goalkeeper Aaron Katsimpalis. Forward Andrew Allen ’19 got his foot on a follow-up attempt, but his shot was likewise stopped by the Maroon defense. Katsimpalis brought his heroics into the second half, saving a free-kick attempt by Judges’ star forward Josh Ocel ’18 in impressive fashion. 

The Maroons broke through in the 80th minute when sophomore forward Dayo Adeosun capitalized on a defensive miscue in the box that left him with a shot opportunity. Adeosun’s attempt was blocked by Judges goalkeeper Greg Irwin ’20, but the rebound found its way to Maroons rookie forward Carter Romero, who buried what would prove to be the game-winning goal. The Judges had a solid chance to even the score in the 84th minute, when forward Jake Warren ’20 nearly netted a high-arching rocket to force overtime. The forward, however, was unable to convert. 

The loss dropped the Judges to 12-4 on the season and 4-2 in UAA play. The victory brought the University of Chicago to 15-2 on the year and 5-1 in UAA play.

Judges 2, WashU 1

The Judges opened their week on a high note, notching a victory against WashU. The squad was propelled by a beautiful golden goal from forward Alex Walter ’20 in the game’s second overtime. 

WashU struck first with a goal in the 12th minute from junior forward Ryan Sproule. Sproule was assisted by freshman midfielder Sean Connors, whose pretty cross put Sproule in the perfect position to net a well-placed header. The Judges were not down long, evening the score in the 26th minute off a goal from forward Max Breiter ’20. Breiter was assisted by forward Dylan Hennessy ‘20. Neither team was able to take the lead before the end of regulation. 

The Judges controlled the first overtime period, seeing two solid opportunities to score the game’s decisive winning goal. Bears’ senior goalkeeper Colin McClune was able to stifle the Judges’ offensive attacks, sending the game into a second overtime. During the second overtime, the Judges earned back-to-back corner kicks, finding the back of the net on the second try. Walter punched in the game’s golden-goal off an Ocel cross that found its way through the Bears’ defense and ultimately sent the Judges to victory against their longtime foe. 

The Judges ended the match with a 15-10 edge in shot attempts and a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks. 

The victory brought the Judges to 12-3-0 on the year and 4-1 in UAA play. The loss dropped WashU to 7-6-1 on the year and 1-4 in conference play. 

Looking ahead, the Judges face off against New York University in their last match before postseason play. The Judges look to generate momentum for a long postseason run with a victory in their last contest of what has proven to be a very successful regular season.