Double overtime and a loss for the men’s team
In their final game of the season, the Brandeis men’s soccer team played in a marathon in New York City. Taking on New York University, the Judges were deadlocked with the Violets for almost the entire game, with the Violets scoring the game winning goal with less than a minute left.The flow of this game was similar to the Judges season overall. For most of the game, the Judges were fighting to keep the score even but, at the last second, they came up short. For most of the Judges' season, the team hovered around .500, but a four-game losing streak doomed them in the end. Here is how the ultimate game of the season went for the Brandeis Judges.
Judges 0, NYU 1
Although the score remained tied at 0–0 until the end of the second overtime, the Judges had more control over the pace of the game than NYU. By the end of regulation, the Judges had more than doubled the shot total of NYU, building up a commanding lead of 17–8. According to the Brandeis athletics website, they also nearly tripled the number of corner kicks of the violets, 11–3. But none of these shots, for either team, found the back of the net. The first overtime period was a defensive stalemate, with the Judges attempting the lone shot of the period. Every time one of the teams had the ball in a good attacking position, the opposing team’s defense would clear the ball to the other half of the field.
In the second overtime period, each team picked up the pace, eager to avoid a complicated tie in their last game of the regular season. Each team took two shots in the second overtime period, but it was NYU’s last shot that counted in the end. With just 15 seconds left in the second overtime, NYU rookie Isaiah Boyd sent a long, arcing pass into the Brandeis box. During the confusion that ensued, NYU’s leading goalscorer, Oliver Kleban, was able to send the ball to the back of the net.
For the Judges, this situation felt all too familiar. Earlier in the season, during a game against Emory University, the game was tied 0–0 with just 15 seconds left to play. In this game, the Judges were able to score the winning goal, giving them the 1–0 win. Unfortunately, this game ended with the Judges on the losing end. The Judges are no strangers to playing in overtime. This season, they have had six games ending in a tie after regulation and requiring extra time to determine the winner. In those games, the Judges held a record of 1–3–2, including a 1–2–1 record in their four conference overtime games. Before letting in the final goal, Greg Irwin ’20 had five key saves to keep the Judges close. However, this did not top the total of Grant Engel of NYU, who saved eight to earn the win.
Even with the loss, Brandeis finished with a 20–10 advantage in shots and a 12–4 advantage in corner kicks. With the loss, the Judges unfortunately missed the playoffs, a huge departure from their NCAA Division III final four appearance just last year. This year marks the first time in eight years that the Judges have missed the postseason, including six straight years with a berth in the NCAA tournament for Division III. This will be a long offseason, but expect the Judges to return as a much stronger team in 2019.
The Brandeis men's soccer class of 2019 includes six members of the team and some of the team's top performers. There are two forwards, two midfielders, and two defenders. Forwards Andrew Allen '19 and Devan Casey '19 have been consistently ranked among the top goalscorers on the team. Allen's six goals led the team this year, while Casey followed closely behind with three of his own. The team also benefited from the play of midfielders Branon Miskin ’19 and Josh Handler ’19, whose transitionary work helped the Judges maintain more control over the flow of the game. Finally, the team had two rock-solid senior defenses, Julien Tremblay '19 and Stephen DiPietto ’19. They protected the Brandeis goalkeepers all season long and were a primary reason for the team's defensive success. The class of 2019 is one of the most impactful classes to the team. Their leadership, wisdom and of course athletic skill will be missed going forward.