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Men’s soccer has strong weekend against UAA opponents

By Charlie Romanow

Section: Sports

November 8, 2013

The men’s soccer team had a solid weekend on the home field holding off two conference opponents. Friday pitted them against Washington University in a 0-0 draw while Sunday had them leaving with a 3-0 victory against the University of Chicago.

The Wash. U Bears outshot the Judges 14-11 overall and 7-3 on goal, but neither team was able to get the ball in the net. The first solid opportunity of the game was in minute 26 after a cross by rookie forward Zach Viera ’17 led to a header by forward Sam Ocel ’13 but ended up over the bar. Wash U.’s Jeremy Kirkwood was able to scoot the ball past the goalie but defender Conor Lanahan ’16 stopped it from reaching the net. A couple of late yellow cards given to defender Ben Applefield ’14 and forward Tyler Savonen ’15 gave advantage to the Bears, but goalkeeper Joe Graffy ’15 stopped any possibility of a goal. Brandeis had a couple of late chances in the 81st and 89th minutes. The first came off a corner by midfielder Michael Soboff ’15 to Lanahan that bounced wide of the far post. The second started from a cross by forward Tudor Livadaru ’14, but Savonen unable to redirect it to the goal as it bounced wide. Both teams had some opportunities in the first overtime, but neither was able to pull ahead.

The Judges did not help themselves early on by committing 11 of a total 19 fouls in the first half. The Bears had only nine fouls. Graffy led with seven saves. Soboff had two shots on-goal on six shot attempts. The Bears Michael Flowers and Kirkwood each had multiple shot on-goal opportunities.

19th-ranked Wash U. is ahead of Brandeis by one point in the conference standings. They are 9-4-3 overall and 2-2-2 in-conference. Their final match will be in the “Windy City” against the University of Chicago on Saturday.

Sunday’s match against the Maroons heavily favored the Judges. Brandeis took the lead for good in the 21st minute after Ocel was fouled, and Livadaru put a free kick that bounced off of the right post into the goal. This was Livadaru’s fourth goal of the season. Both teams would have good opportunities later on as Graffy made a strong block in the 31st minute which led to a play by Savonen in which he beat the defender to the ball, had a shot blocked by the goalie but put the rebound back in for a score. Savonen scored his second goal of the game and ninth of the season in the 57th minute on an assist by Jake Picard ’16. This marks Savonen’s third multi-goal game of the season, and the fourth of his career.

Despite the lopsided score differential, Chicago outshot Brandeis 11 to 9. They did not have many opportunities on-goal though, as the Judges overtook them in this statistic five to three. In addition to Savonen’s three shots on-goal, Livadaru had two of his own.

Brandeis keeper Joe Graffy took home his fourth shutout of the season. He has accordingly been named the UAA Defensive Player of the Week. He has had three consecutive shutouts and has not allowed a goal in the last 327 minutes of his time on the field. He is third in the conference in saves and shutouts. This is the second time this season that he has received this honor.

The Maroons are 9-5-2 overall and 3-3 in the conference, two places ahead of Brandeis. Despite the Judges solid 13-4-1 performance this season, they have fallen behind conference opponents with worse overall records as they are 2-3-1 in the UAA. Despite the disappointing conference performances this year, Brandeis is ranked 22nd nationally by D3soccer.com, behind UAA foes Carnegie Mellon and the University of Rochester, both of whom defeated Brandeis this season. They are also ranked 22nd by NSCAA, behind three UAA foes. Brandeis finishes the season at home against New York University.

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