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Judges Soccer ties Wheaton 2-2 after great struggle

Published: September 22, 2006
Section: Sports


They play hard, they play with heart, yet at times it hasnt been enough to grab the win. Facing one of their toughest matches of the season against Wheaton College, the Brandeis Judges came back Wednesday night to avoid the loss, walking away with a 2-2 tie. Brandeis Assistant Coach Gabe Margolis explained that this match would be a tough one. Its always a battle when its Brandeis v. Wheaton. He was right in this assessment as this was a hard fought game that became one of missed opportunities.

Wheaton started the scoring off with a goal by Cameron Habib 07 in the 18th minute of play. The Lyons appeared to go ahead 2-0, but the goal was negated due to an offside call. Taking advantage, Brett Fitzgerald 08 drove a hard shot from the top of the box to knot the game up at one apiece. The Wheaton tandem of Habib and Dan Lane 09 struck back however as Lane sent the ball to Habib who in turn crossed it to Justin Hart 09 who gave the Lyons a 2-1 lead in the 36th minute.

The first half, we went out and played out of the 4-4-2 formation and that wasnt working;

I think they really took it to us. In the second half, we played out of a 3-4-3 and it turned the tables and I think we dominated play in the second half, Coach Mike Coven explained.

The second half featured a shift in momentum in Brandeiss favor. Eventually, rookie Tyler Morrill 10 notched the equalizer in the 60th minute. In overtime play, Brandeis forward Billy Murphy 10 nearly gave Brandeis the win, were it not for a clutch play by Wheaton goalie Matt Pachnuik 07. The Judges were given a golden opportunity when a Wheaton red card gave Brandeis the man advantage, but they could not capitalize as Wheaton kept the Judges from mounting any pressure and the game ended in a tie.

The tie was bittersweet for Coven. Wheaton is one of the best teams not only in New England but in the country, so the fact that we end up with a draw at their place, its something to be somewhat happy about but I want to start winning games.

Wheaton outshot Brandeis 17-13 in the match. Taylor Bracken 10 had 5 saves for the Judges while Pachnuik stopped 7 shots for the Lyons. The tie followed an excellent match against Albertus Magnus back on Sept. 15, when the Judges stomped Albertus Magnus for a 6-0 win.

The scoring was started in the 4th minute when Murphy slammed home the free kick following an error by Albertus Magnus rookie goal tender Gerald OConnor 10. The rest was history for Brandeis as Ben Premo 09 could not be stopped. Roaring back following a slump, Premo tallied goals in the 18th and 54th minutes of play and set up goals for Jordan Skolnick 07 (9th minute) and Alex Mithoefer 09 (55th minute). Also scoring was Kevin Murphy 09 in the 40th minute.
The Judges outshot Albertus Magnus 32-5 and held the advantage in corner kicks 10-4, including 6 in the second half. Bracken had an easy day, facing no challenges, and was lifted later in the second half for fellow rookie Josh Bellet 10, who had one save in his first sign of action.

Brandeis takes on Bridgewater State College at home on the 27th at 7:00 p.m. at home. In an interesting bit of trivia, Wheaton assistant coach Matt Murphy is a Brandeis alumnus (graduated 2000) while Brandeis assistant Gabe Margolis is a Wheaton alumnus (class of 2005).