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Men’s soccer advances to NCAA tournament

By Charlie Romanow

Section: Featured, Sports

November 15, 2013

The men’s soccer team finished the regular season with a win at home against New York University. Brandeis will continue their play in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The team’s Senior Day match was a 2-0 shutout on Saturday. Despite their eager nine offside penalties, Brandeis dominated throughout, allowing only one shot on goal. The first goal came in the 16th minute as forward Tyler Savonen ’15 beat the defender off of a pass by Ben Applefield ’14 and hit the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal. This is Savonen’s 10th goal of the season. The insurance shot took place in the 70th minute as Savonen assisted rookie forward Evan Jastremski ’17, which was Jastremski’s fourth of the season.

The Judges outshot the Violets 8-3 in the second half and led in corner kick opportunities 4-1. Goalkeeper Joe Graffy ’15 needed only one save in the 53rd minute to secure his fourth consecutive shutout and sixth of the year. Savonen had more shots on goal than the entire Violet’s team attempting five shots. Chris Ramirez had the lone shot on goal for NYU.

Brandeis ends the regular season at 14-4-1 overall and 3-3-1 in-conference. NYU falls to 6-8-3 overall and a winless 0-6-1 in the UAA.

The team’s seniors were honored before the game began: Applefield, Ethan Bercelli, Matt Brondoli, Kyle Feather, Tudor Livadaru, Sam Ocel, Matt Peabody, Stephen Salazar, Harold Salinas and student assistant coach Jordan Zides. During the group’s four years, the Judges have been 59-19-4 and won two New England Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships. They have received numerous individual academic and athletic honors from both the University Athletic Association and National Soccer Coaches Association of America. They earned a share of the UAA championship last year and made it to the Sweet 16, finishing the year 13th in the country.

The Judges were chosen for the tournament of 61 teams on Monday during this year’s NCAA Selection Show. Brandeis was one of 20 teams to earn a spot in the tournament that did not win their conference. In addition to earning a place in the tournament, Brandeis will play host to a regional match of the tournament.

They face the Great Northeast Athletic Conference champion Johnson and Wales University on Saturday. The Wildcats are 14-1-6 and are taking part in the tournament for the first time since 2007. Brandeis finished the regular season ranked 17th by the NSCAA and 20th by D3Soccer.com. Despite their national recognition, they finished fifth in the conference. UAA foes Carnegie Mellon and Rochester were also in the tournament. Rochester won the conference title.

Johnson and Wales defeated Lasell College to earn their conference title. Johnson and Wales lost to Mount Ida, which Brandeis was able to defeat. Johnson and Wales was 1-0 in the regular season against teams that have earned a place in the tournament; Brandeis was 2-2 against tournament teams.

Brandeis will also host a matchup between the at-large bids of Rutgers University-Newark and Roger Williams University. The winner of each match will play one another on Sunday. The Judges will take the field on Saturday at 5 p.m. and the second game on Sunday will occur at the same time.

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