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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Men’s soccer team remains undefeated

Published: September 13, 2013
Section: Sports

On Tuesday afternoon, the men’s soccer team played the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Engineers. Few fans came out to support the team, as the game started shortly after the rain stopped. The 11 starting players, however, exuded confidence as they stood on the field for the National Anthem.

The Judges started with the ball, and it was clear they had control from the start. They were able to dominate the field, as the Engineers did not put heavy pressure on them. While there were no goals in the first 10 minutes of play, there were saves from the goalies on both sides. Brandeis goalie Joe Graffy ’15 helped his team by being vocal. Throughout the entire game, he called out instructions to his teammates such as “watch your back” and “turn.” After the game, Coach Mike Coven mentioned that Graffy played a great game and made some “very good saves.”

Approximately 20 minutes into the first half of the game, a red card was given because of a handball inside the six-yard line. The Engineers’ player hit the ball with his hands, blocking it from entering the net. This immediately angered the WPI coaches. The coaches’ reactions were not surprising considering the red card authorized Brandeis a penalty kick and granted them the advantage of an extra player on the field for the rest of the game.
Following the red card, Sam Ocel ’13 took the penalty kick and scored the first goal of the game.

With 20 minutes and 24 seconds left in the game, WPI saw a failed opportunity to score a goal from a penalty kick because of a red card given to the Judges. The Engineers’ Chris Ciampa took a shot, but Graffy saved the goal, catching the ball on the ground and laying on his side.

Although the Brandeis Judges played well for the majority of the the game, Evan Jastremski ’17, received a yellow card in the last 15 minutes of the first half. He committed a bad slide tackle. Brien Hard ’17 of WPI, received a penalty kick, but missed his chance to score. The first half ended with the Judges ahead of the Engineers by two goals.

The second half was less eventful than the first. There were no cards given and only one goal scored with 4 minutes and 22 seconds left in the game by the Judges’ Matt Peabody ’13. With a score of 3-0 in the final few minutes, it was definitely not the “nail-biting” game.

The Judges displayed excellent teamwork. During the first half, there were numerous give-and-go plays, ultimately leading to the Judges’ second goal in the first half. Seventeen minutes and 53 seconds were left on the clock when theJudges took a corner kick. Two members of his team headed the ball consecutively, and Conor Lanahan ’16 then put the ball in the net.

Coach Coven had a negative outlook on the game. “We did not play well at all. Obviously, you’re always happy when you win, but it was a very poor performance,” he said. “A lot of the things that we had specifically been working on in practice, the boys just sort of forgot or didn’t adhere to.” He thinks that the team can do better than they did on Tuesday. “We are a better team than them. We had an extra man, and we still gave them opportunities to possibly win the game,” he said. Coven admitted that the team still has much to work on. They cannot play like they did at this game against the UAA teams and Tufts. Coven concluded, “We have to improve as a team, or we’ll end up with a very average record.”