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Men’s soccer no longer undefeated, loses to MIT

By Kara Karter

Section: Sports

September 23, 2010

The thought of a perfect season was put to rest Wednesday, when a visit to MIT resulted in the Brandeis men’s soccer team’s first loss of the year. Despite jumping out to an early lead, the Judges ended up on the short side of a 2-1 final.

Coming off of a record breaking 13-0 win against Newbury College, the MIT match-up marked the beginning of a challenging–and revealing–stretch for the Judges.

“The majority of the games that we have coming up … the teams will be tougher …” explained head coach Michael Coven. “The jury’s still sort of out. We’re good. But I don’t know how good.”

MIT appeared to be the better team coming out of the gates, as the Engineers (7-2) picked up opportunities on a trifecta of corner kicks in the game’s first three minutes of play. However, it was the Judges who struck first. In the 10th minute, Theo Terris ’12, a junior transfer from Boston University, registered his first point in a Brandeis uniform. His long kick from midfield found the foot of Lee Russo ’13 who, after luring MIT keeper Dylan Rankin ’12, out of position deposited his fourth goal of the season just inside near the post.

The Engineers responded quickly, evening the score in the 24th minute. After failing to convert off their first four corners of the afternoon, MIT found magic in number five. Christian Therkelsen’s ’11 drive off the crossbar came out to Max Stein-Golenbock ’12, who headed the ball into the back of the net.

Terris, Joe Eisenbies ’13 and Alexander Farr ’12 had chances to give the Judges a fresh lead before halftime, but MIT’s Rankin was strong in net, ensuring that the two teams entered the break even at one-all.

After a slow 20 minutes to start the new half, the Judges came close to potting a second score in the 68th minute. Off a play started by a Russo free kick, Kyle Feather ’14 was stoned from point blank range. The follow-up shot, taken by Ben Applefield ’14, deflected off the arm of a falling Rankin and the third chance of the flurry–a shot fired by Terris–sailed over the net.

In a daring maneuver, Brandeis net-minder Taylor Bracken ’11 came out to block an attempt from MIT’s Anthony Saad ’14 in the 76th minute. Bracken won the one-on-one duel, sliding in front of the edge-of-the-box strike to keep it out.

Despite Bracken’s best efforts, MIT jumped ahead for good less than five minutes later, heading in a ball off a throw-in.

It was the first time the Judges had trailed in a game since the second half of last year’s season finale against NYU. They had previously allowed only one goal on the campaign.

Bracken finished with two saves in the loss, which dropped Brandeis to 6-1 on the season.

The Judges return to the field Saturday afternoon, hitting the road to take on what Coven has called a “very, very good” team from Babson College (6-2). Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m.

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