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Livadaru leads judges to OT victory against MIT

By Dani Chasin

Section: Sports

September 6, 2013

The mood at Gordon’s Field on Wednesday evening was tense as the Brandeis men’s soccer team sent the opening home game against MIT into overtime, and stole the win. Now carrying a record of 3-0, the Judges sent the Engineers home with their first loss of the season, making their record 2-1.

Despite the extended length of the match, the Judges dominated over the Engineers in the second half after evening the 1-1 score, making this their second time this season coming up from behind to win a game. While the entire team fought hard together to overcome MIT, two specific players stood out for Brandeis: reserve forward Tudor Livadaru ’14 and rookie forward Evan Jastremski ’17.

After a foul was called against MIT on Brandeis forward Sam Ocel ’14 in minute 28, a free kick by Livadaru just outside the 18-yard box sent the ball flying to the back of the net. The Judges strategized to have Ocel fake the kick, followed by Livadaru striking the ball into the goal. Even MIT goalkeeper Jake Amereno ’15 was not expecting the curved upper right corner shot that ripped off of Livadaru’s left foot.

The free kick goal brought the score to 1-1 after the Judges had to make up for the quick start that MIT had in the first few minutes. With two shots taken by the Engineers in the first 22 seconds of the game, goalkeeper Joe Graffy ’15 saw some early action and was forced to make some saves. The MIT goal came in the ninth minute after the Engineers worked the ball around to one player who had a lefty rip just outside the box.

After Livadaru’s goal, the Judges sustained their momentum for the rest of the game. Brandeis made seven shots in the second half while MIT had only one, compared to the first half where the teams were more even with seven for Deis and five for MIT. The MIT goalie had to make some impressive saves in the second half as the Judges contested several close shots.

Three opportunities came for Brandeis in three quick minutes towards the end of regular time. A shot by Ocel was saved by MIT’s Amereno and deflected out of bounds for a corner kick. The cross by midfielder Kyle Feather ’14 was bounced around in the box and then sent to the opposite side where defender Ben Applefield ’13 laid in a crisp pass to the box. Another lefty rip from Livadaru just outside the box hit the center of the right goal post. A final shot from Ocel that was intercepted signified the Judges’ last attempt on goal for the remainder of regular time.

In overtime, the Engineers had the first shot on goal in 27 seconds, saved by Graffy. After the Judges regained possession, Livadaru took a shot that went high over the goal post. The pivotal moment came for the Judges three minutes in: an assist by Livadaru to Jastremski into the six-yard box allowed the rookie to beat a defender and score his first career goal.

The two-hour long match marked the Judges’ first time going into overtime this season, and their second time beating MIT in extra minutes. As the Judges take in the excitement of winning this nail-biter on their home turf, the men are quickly preparing for their next home match against long-time rival Babson on Saturday. They hope the victory over MIT signifies the start of an undefeated home game record.

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