The Judges’ men’s soccer team split a pair of games last week, cruising to a 3–0 win at Massachusetts Maritime Academy before falling 1–0 at home to the University of Chicago.

Brandeis extended their unbeaten streak to seven games on Tuesday, handing the Massachusetts Maritime Buccaneers their ninth loss of the season with all three goals coming in the first half. Noah Gans ’21 opened the scoring with exactly 10 minutes on the clock when he curled a free kick from 25 yards into the back of the net for his second goal of the season. Gans was on target again just six minutes later, this time firing home a rebound from 14 yards away. The last goal came five minutes before halftime when Sammy Guttell’s ’22 shot resulted in an attempted clearance by the hosts’ AJ Bubencik, who inadvertently knocked the ball into the net for another goal. 

Thanks to the three goal lead, Judges’ Coach Gabe Margolis made a number of substitutions at halftime, including bringing in goalkeeper Aidan Guthro ’23 in place of starter Greg Irwin ’20. Irwin was not forced into a single save in the first half as the scoreline was reflective of the Judges’ dominance in the game. The second half was much the same and Mass Maritime’s only shot on goal was saved by Max Blacker ‘22, another substitute goalkeeper for Brandeis.

The Judges outshot the Buccaneers 16–4 in the match, putting seven efforts on target overall. Brandeis had four of the game’s five corners, according to the Brandeis Athletics website, and were caught offside six times compared to three flags raised against the home side.

Facing a step-up in competition against the top-ten ranked University of Chicago Maroons, the Judges emerged on the wrong end of an exciting match decided by the slimmest  of margins. The Judges’ best chance during a choppy first half came when Dylan Hennessy ’20 took a quick free kick just outside the box which caught the Chicago defenders and goalkeeper off guard. Michael Burch ’22 was alive to it first and after getting around the goalkeeper, he turned the ball toward the net only to have it desperately cleared off the line at the last moment by a Maroon defender. Irwin made a fine save on the stroke of halftime to keep the game scoreless, doing just enough to deflect the ball over the goal after quick attacking move by Chicago. 

It took only four minutes of second half action for the visitors to get on the board, with a quickly taken free kick from the defensive half beginning the move. Vicente Mateus found Modi with a perfect through ball, who was able to navigate around the onrushing Irwin and turn his shot goalwards from the right side of the six yard box. It was the same place on the pitch where Burch was denied in the first half and captain Alex Walter ’20 was dramatically close to producing the same outcome, sliding to clear the ball off the line. However, unlike in the first half, the referee’s assistant deemed it to have crossed the line and the goal was given. The game only increased in physicality with Gans and Nate Johnson going at it a few times, eventually leading the latter player to pick up a yellow card. Despite the Judges’ extended push for an equalizer, they could not find the final ball and thus fell for the first time in over a month.

Chicago, now 7–1–4  for the season, had seven shots compared to six for Brandeis, with four and two efforts on goals, respectively. Chicago had two of the game’s only three corners, while they committed 21 of a remarkable 35 fouls in the match. Though they were caught offside six times, the Maroons remained on in the match’s decisive moment. 

Having hosted Washington University in St. Louis on Sunday, the Judges, now 7–3–4, will take the field next on Wednesday at Springfield, and their next home game on Nov. 9 is the final fixture of the regular season.