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Men’s soccer misses Final Four

By Sarah Jousset

Section: Sports

December 5, 2014

The Judges’ road to the NCAA finals came to a close on Nov. 23 as the men’s soccer team lost in a final eight game against No. 3 SUNY Oneonta, 3-0. The Judges were just one win shy of making the Final Four for the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Judges finished the season 19-3-1.

The SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons came out strong in the first half, outshooting Brandeis 6-3, which included 5-1 shots on goal. Michael Soboff ’15 had the only shot on goal for the Judges in the first half, marking the first time all season that the Judges trailed their opponent at halftime.

The Judges tried to break through in the second half when midfielder Josh Ocel ’17 shot from the right of the box, hitting the far goal post. The ball slid back to the middle of the field for the Dragons to take control, which led to a goal by Dragons player Greg Silvestro, the second of the game for Oneonta. This goal made Oneonta the second team of the season to score more than one goal against the Judges.

Ocel tried again for the Judges in the 66th minute, only for his shot to be punched over the goal by the Dragons’ goalkeeper. Forward Tyler Savonen ’15 tried to score for the Judges in the 76th minute when he dribbled around three defenders only to miss wide. The Judges attempted to come back from the 3-0 deficit, outshooting Oneonta in the second half, 8-5, including leading 6-0 in corner kicks.

Brandeis missed out on securing its first Final Four seed in 30 years. However, their 19 wins tie the 1984 Brandeis men’s soccer team for most wins in a season. This year’s men’s soccer team also set program records in shutouts with 17, fewest goals allowed with nine and lowest goals allowed average at .38. The Judges lose UAA MVP Tyler Savonen, first-team All-UAA goalkeeper Joe Graffy ’15 and second leading scorer Soboff. On the bright side, the Brandeis men’s soccer team will welcome back eight starters for their 2015 season.

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