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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Men’s soccer continues to roll with 2-0 win over Case

Published: October 12, 2012
Section: Sports

The men’s soccer team extended their unbeaten streak to 17 games with a 2-0 victory over Case Western this past Saturday. With the win, the Judges improve to 11-0-1 (1-0-1 UAA). The Judges have not lost a game since Oct. 28 of last year.

In a slow-paced first half, neither the Case Western Spartans nor the Judges were able to score. The Judges outshot the Spartans 8-4 with a 2-1 advantage in shots on goal.

Harold Salinas ’14 attributed the slow pace to the matchup.

“It took us a little while to get going into top gear, but we did better in the second half,” Salinas said. “At times, we slowed it down to keep control of the game once we were in the lead.”

Sam Ocel ’13 elaborated, “We always try to play our game and dictate the pace. It really depends on how the game is going. Sometimes we need to slow the game down and keep the ball. Other times we go right at the team.”

Case Western had their best scoring chance of the day early in the second half when senior Rene Silva released a rocket toward goal; however, keeper Blake Minchoff ’13 made the save to keep the Spartans off of the scoreboard.

As they have done many times this season, the Judges used a counter-offensive after Minchoff’s save in order to gain momentum. After Minchoff cleared the ball, Foti Andreo ’15 played a through ball to Tyler Savonen ’15. Savonen gained possession of the ball and then sent a perfectly placed cross to Ocel who deposited the ball past the Spartans’ keeper to put the Judges on the scoreboard. The goal was Ocel’s fifth of the season and his team-leading, fourth game-winner.

Ocel commented, “I wouldn’t say that a [great defensive play] is igniting our offense, but the team definitely feeds off the energy that is created by a big save from Blake or a great tackle by Joe [Eisenbies ’13].”

After Ocel’s goal, the Spartans tried to re-seize the momentum with a flurry of offensive pressure. They nearly succeeded as they came dangerously close to tying the game at 1-1 in the 60th minute.

Minchoff was out of position in the goal when sophomore Patrick O’Day took advantage of his momentary lapse and fired a shot at the open end of the goal. With Minchoff unable to recover in time to make a play on the ball, defender Joe Eisenbies ’13 made a sensational play to clear the ball out of the box and preserve the Brandeis lead.

Eisenbies’ defensive play once again swung the momentum in favor of the Judges. The Judges then counterattacked and maintained consistent pressure on the Spartans’ defense. This renewed attack paid off for the Judges in the 72nd minute when they added a key insurance goal to pad their lead, 2-0.

Midfielder Tudor Livadaru ’14 started off the play with his agile footwork, sidestepping his defender along the goal line. He played the ball across the goalmouth, where it found Steve Salazar ’14 who then tapped the ball into the net for the first goal of his collegiate career.
With the extra goal, the Judges took their defense to the next level for the closing 18 minutes of the game, allowing Case just one shot in the match.

A positive development for the Judges this season is the improvement of the younger players. Livadaru has made a goal and an assist in his past two games while Salazar contributed with a goal in the game against Case.

Ocel iterated, “It’s great to see. The two of them have been working very hard this year and it has shown when they have stepped onto the field.”

The game was the Judges’ sixth shutout of the season. Minchoff continues to excel this season in goal, allowing one goal or less in 10 out of the 12 games.

The Judges held Case to just two shots on goal during the entire match. Salinas commented, “We got a shutout the previous game and we were looking to keep it clean in the back. Everyone did their part to shut them down.”

With the success the Judges have had this season, players emphasized that it is important to keep their focus on each game.

“One of the things we learned after not making the tournament last year is the importance of every individual game,” Salinas said. “That’s been a theme this year to take each game one at a time and not look ahead to anything else.”

The Judges will take their dominating defensive play to Chicago on Friday and Washington University in St. Louis on Sunday as they embark on a weekend road trip against two top UAA competitors.

Ocel agreed with Salinas commenting, “We are just focusing one game at a time. Chicago is all that is on our mind.”

Their next home game will be on Wednesday at 7 p.m.