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Men’s soccer splits 1-1 for the week

Published: September 16, 2011
Section: Sports


The Brandeis men’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the season to Clark University on Saturday this past weekend, Sept. 10. After scoring an astounding 10 goals in the first two games, the explosive Brandeis offense was unable to score a single goal and were shut out against Clark.

With the win, Clark improves to 4-0 while Brandeis falls to 2-1 for the season.

Both teams had several opportunities to score in the first half, but were unable to convert their scoring chances. This changed in the first few minutes of the second half when Clark’s Gianluca Ranallo chased down a ball on the left side of the field and crossed the ball to the back post, where Clark’s Josh Demers headed the ball past Brandeis goalie Blake Minchoff ’13 for the only goal of the game. Ranallo and Demers almost scored again on the same play in the 71st minute, but Demers’ header was too high and it went over the crossbar.

In the closing minutes of the game, the Judges were able to manage constant pressure in the offensive zone and threatened to score several times. The Judges’ best chance came when midfielder Sam Ocel ’13 fired a point-blank shot into the goal; however, Clark goalie Ryan King made a spectacular save to turn back the goal and preserve the shutout in the 87th minute.

The game consisted of 31 fouls between the two teams and two yellow cards were handed out in what turned out to be a very physical game. Although Brandeis lost, they held both a 17-7 advantage in shots on goal and a 13-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Minchoff made a pair of saves for the Judges while letting in just a single goal. Ryan King, his Clark counterpart, turned aside five scoring attempts to record his first shutout of the season.

On Wednesday the Judges hosted their first home game of the season. Nine different Brandeis players scored points in a 5-0 rout of Worcester Polytechnic Institute as the Judges handed the Engineers their first loss of the season in a non-conference matchup on Gordon’s Field. With the win, the Judges improved to 3-1 on the season, while the Engineers fall to 4-1. Though the Judges could not muster any offense in their 1-0 loss to Clark earlier in the week, Brandeis spent most of this contest in the offensive zone.

The first half was played at a near stalemate, though WPI held a slight advantage in total shots 6-5 and corner kicks 2-1. Despite, the even play of the two teams, Brandeis notched the only goal of the first half at the 15th minute. Forward Steve Keuchkarian ’12 dribbled through traffic and made a precise cross from the end line to set up the charging Kyle Feather ’14 with an easy tap-in. Feather’s goal was his third on the young season.

The game was very physical with both teams amassing a total of 35 fouls during the course of the game and WPI forward Jason Hopkins was assessed a yellow card. At the end of the first half, WPI sophomore Anthony Cicchetti incensed the home crowd by making an obscene gesture towards the bleachers.

Holding a slim lead at the beginning of the second half, Brandeis blew the game wide open with two early tallies and a total of four second-half goals.

Back Ben Applefield ’14 opened the scoring of the second half when he blew past three WPI defenders and blasted a shot into the lower righthand corner of the net for his first goal of the season and third of his career at the 51:16 mark. Less than 90 seconds later, forward Lee Russo ’13, who had drawn a foul moments before resulting in a free kick, put a very nice free kick right onto the head of midfielder Theo Harris ’12, who headed it home for his second goal of the season at the 52:45 mark.

The Judges’ offense controlled the tempo of play for the rest of the second half. In the 79th minute, shortly after WPI brought a majority of its players into the offensive zone to try to climb back into the contest, the Judges scored again. Back Matt Peabody ’13 cleared the ball from his box high into the air. Midfielder Tyler Savonen ’15 collected the ball at the midfield stripe where he beat his defender in a one-on-one contest and WPI goalie Jeff Wong for his second career goal to put the Judges ahead 4-0.

Brandeis added a late goal with just 8.3 seconds remaining when Tudor Livadaru ’14 assisted forward Nick George ’14, who beat Wong one-on-one.

Minchoff made five saves in the game, including a spectacular diving save in the 21st minute, in his third shutout of the season.

Brandeis had nine shots on goal for the game compared to WPI’s five and Brandeis also had a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Brandeis returns to action Monday, Sept. 19 when the Judges host MIT at 7 p.m.