The Brandeis men’s soccer team went on the road this week and pulled out two key wins. On Tuesday, they took a trip to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and defeated the Engineers. Then, on Saturday, they travelled to Pittsburg and earned a key conference win. Here is how the team performed this week. 

Carnegie Mellon 0, Judges 1

Coming into the game, Carnegie Mellon was ranked eighth in all of Division III men’s soccer by the United Soccer Coaches and The Judges have had a season of ups and downs, but overall, they have not been meeting their preseason expectations. The team definitely had their work cut out for them, but the Judges were able to put on a performance typical of a team ranked fourth in the preseason poll. Brandeis had the shot advantage in the first half, 8-3, but the Tartans exploded back in the second half, 7-0, to own the advantage for the game at 10-8. CMU also had an 8-5 advantage in corner kicks. However, the scoring margin is what matters most. Following a CMU turnover in their own half of the field, Devan Casey ’19 blasted a goal from 20 yards out inside the left crossbar. 

Greg Irwin ’20 had four key saves in his fifth shutout of the season and sixth of his career. The game was a bit physical at times, with 22 fouls and 11 yellow cards called total, with about an even split. With the win, Brandeis improved to 6-4-1 overall including 1-0-1 in UAA play. The Tartans were handed their first loss of the season, dropping their record to 8-1-2 (1-1-0 in UAA play). Brandeis is now undefeated in their last five meetings with Carnegie Mellon, owning a 4-0-1 head-to-head record. This was the team’s first road win at CMU since 2011. 

MIT 1, Judges 2

The Judges went on the road to MIT on Tuesday and were able to defeat the Engineers, ending with a score of 2-1. The scoring began in the 37th minute, when Casey ripped a ball from the right side of the field into the back left net of the goal. The game was quiet through halftime, and it was not until the 65th minute that Brandeis would add on to the advantage. Casey originally headed a corner kick toward the net, and then Alex Walter ’20 scored on the put back, giving the Judges a 2-0 advantage. 

Greg Irwin would have to wait until Saturday’s game against CMU to record a shutout. In the 87th minute of play, the Engineers’ Kaleb Blake scored, cutting the lead in half and spoiling Irwin’s would-be fifth shutout of the season. The Judges were able to hold on for the last few minutes of the game, giving them the 2-1 win. 

Looking ahead, Brandeis returns home for the next few games. On Friday, the Judges will take on the Yellowjackets of the University of Rochester, their third of seven University Athletic Association conference games. On Sunday, the Judges will welcome Emory University to Gordon Field and try to defend their home turf. This game will also be the team’s senior day, so it is extra important to go out and show your support. This is a defining time in the season. If the Judges continue their winning ways, the team should have no issue securing a premier playoff position. 

The Judges have had their fair share of top performers through their first 11 games of the new season. Before the season, the team welcomed a new transfer student, Bryant Nardizzi '20. He has been electric thus far, scoring five goals and racking up two assists to boot. Jake Warren '20 has four goals and an assist to his name as well. Andrew Allen '19 and Casey follow with three goals apiece. The trio of Nardizzi, Warren, and Allen have played in all eleven games. 

Credit must also be given to goalkeeper Greg Irwin '20. He has allowed just four goals in nine games this season and has been the goalkeeper in five shutouts this season. He holds a 5-2 record as the starting goalie, with an impressive .897 save percentage. Irwin, combined with a stout defense  led by Michael Burch '22 and Walter has been a primary reason for the Judges sucess.