Critical week ends in split decision
The men’s soccer team welcomed two of their vaunted University Athletic Association opponents to Gordon Field this past week. Each game was a marathon, going into either one or two overtimes. Even with all the extra soccer, the Judges escaped the week with a split decision, winning one game and losing the other. This improved their record to 7–5–1 (2–1–1 in UAA play).
Emory 0, Judges 1
Coming into the game, the Judges had a tough task ahead of them. The Eagles were a confusing team to say the least. They had an overall record of 8–3–1 and had been playing dominant soccer all season long. They were ranked 10th overall in Division III by D3soccer.com but 24th by the poll conducted by the United Soccer Coaches. A big reason for this was the Eagles' UAA record. Despite their successes, all three of their losses up to this point had come at the hands of UAA opponents, vaulting them to the bottom of the UAA standings. Emory came into the game desperately needing a win, and they fought hard for it. The first half was pretty tight, with shot totals slightly in Brandeis’ favor at 8–6. However, in the second half, the Judges took the reins and outshot the Eagles 8–2. Despite that, the game remained scoreless at the end of regulation.
The game was chippy at times, with frustration over the lack of scoring sometimes boiling over. 33 fouls and three yellow cards were handed out before overtime even began. In the first overtime period, it looked like Emory had the tools to win. They took control of the game, outshooting Brandeis 3–2 and earning two key corner kicks. However, Brandeis’ stout defense prevailed and the Judges were able to force a second overtime.
The second overtime period was a deadlock. Emory took the first two shots on goal, the Judges took the next two, and pretty soon, the overtime period was in its last minute. With seconds left to play, Brandeis had the ball on a throw-in near the opposing team’s goal. Jake Warren ’20 threw the ball into a crowd of players in the box. After an Emory defender tried to clear the ball to a safe distance, Andrew Allen ‘19 intercepted it and launched a shot toward the goal. His initial shot was blocked, knocking the Emory goalkeeper off balance, but the rebound went straight back to Allen. On the rebound, Allen launched a screamer just inside the right post to win the game for the Judges. Late-game heroics are not out of the norm for Allen. Out of his 14 career goals, five have been game winners, but sending the game home on his senior day must have been extra special.
Rochester 2, Judges 1
Earlier in the week, the Judges dropped a heartbreaker to the University of Rochester. The Yellowjackets were red-hot coming into the game, holding a 8–1–1 record. This propelled them to an 11th place ranking from the United Soccer Coaches poll and 15th by D3soccer.com. However, their record in UAA conference play was still a disappointing 0–1–1, so the Yellowjackets desperately needed a win to turn around this aspect of their record. Brandeis wasted no time opening up the scoring, doing so in the third minute. Early on, Brandeis sent the ball deep into the Rochester side of the field and earned a corner kick. Brandon Miskin ’19 sent the ball into a crowd where it found the head of Alex Walter ’20. Walter sent home his first goal of the season. In the 36th minute, Rochester would respond with a headed goal of their own. No more scoring would occur in regulation, with the teams at a dead even lock. The Yellowjackets took advantage of a Brandeis defensive error and blasted a shot home within the first minute of overtime. This error would cost Brandeis the game.
Looking ahead, the Judges will take on Clark University on Wednesday at 7 p.m. followed by a game against Amherst College on Monday at 7:30.