23rd ranked soccer team wiping away the competition

September 7, 2012

The Brandeis men’s soccer team won its first home game on Wednesday against New Hampshire’s Colby-Sawyer. The team warmed up as the stands slowly filled, and at the appointed time, announcements commenced the game. Brandeis started the game with seniors and captains Joe Eisenbies ’13, Sam Ocel ’13, Lee Russo ’13 and Blake Minchoff ’13. The team had won their opening two games of the season 3-0 and 4-0 respectively, and looked to extend their streak of clean sweeps.
Brandeis started the game brightly, with two dangerous attempts on goal and a corner showing for their efforts in the opening two minutes. Russo constantly threatened with great bursts of speed on the wing, and Colby-Sawyer looked disorganized and scared. Brandeis midfield was controlling the ball and the tempo of the game, and any wayward passes were easily recovered. A quick, high pressing defensive game left the opponents unable to settle on the ball, and they were forced into panicking and clearing it high, paving the way for 50-50 challenges, which the Brandeis players invariably won.
Colby-Sawyer had one breakthrough when they split the Brandeis midfield and ran through on goal. Quick backtracking by the defenders, however, forced the striker to mishit his shot wide to the right of Minchoff’s goal. That attempt was to be one of few that Brandeis’ opponents had, and it was soon avenged by a free-kick won on the edge of the box. Up stepped Ben Applefield ’14, who curled a brilliant free kick around the left side of the wall into the bottom corner, leaving the Colby-Sawyer keeper motionless.
Brandeis did not let up the pressure, and seven minutes later had another goal to show for their troubles. Ocel beat his man and played in a lovely cross, which was headed home by Russo. The scoring in the first half was rounded off by Chris Bradley ’16, who showed a great collectiveness to round the keeper and pass the ball into an empty net. After latching on to a wonderfully clipped pass from Russo, there were chants of “He’s just a first-year.” The half ended with a few shots on goal, one that rattled the crossbar, and thus it was to be Brandeis’ day.
The second half was started at the same pace, and 16 minutes in, Ocel again turned provider. His shot cross curled across the box and was headed in by Kyle Feather ’14. Up 4-0, Brandeis was cruising, yet they were not ready to turn off and relax. Six minutes after the fourth goal, Tyler Savonen ’15 latched onto a through ball from Feather on the right side of the field and rifled home into the bottom left corner. Now up 5-0, the game was becoming embarrassingly easy.
“The key to our win last night was our outside backs Ben Applefield and Robbie Lynch and their attacking presence on the wing,” Savonen said. “We kept a high intensive pressure throughout the game and I thought we outworked Colby-Sawyer from start to finish.”
In the 75th minute, Applefield, who had played immensely throughout the game, found Connor Lanahan ’16 with a perfect through ball, and the defender scored to extend Brandeis’ lead to six goals. The 83rd minute gave the Brandeis team their last goal, as Bradley struck again off of a through ball from Gustavo Lopes ’15 to seal the game 7-0. A late fight back by Colby-Sawyer was easily dealt with as Brandeis took its foot off the gas, and the home team ended the game with 22 shots, 13 of which were on target.
Keepers Minchoff and Joe Graffy ’15 combined to make three routine saves, as Colby-Sawyer took a total of seven shots, all of which were tame efforts. An indicator of Brandeis’ dominance was shown by the number of corner kicks, 12-2 in favor of the home team, and the number of saves the Colby-Sawyer keeper made, namely, six. He let in more shots than he kept out. The men’s soccer Team has now won seven consecutive times, a record dating back to last season. This year, they have played three games and won three by a combined score of 14-0, utilizing a flowing, passing game.
“Both offensively and defensively we are coming together really well,” defender Gaelen Oliver ’15 said. “The game is starting to flow the way it should be and we are finishing off our goals, which is key. We’re excited to see how the rest of the season is going to play out.”

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