Coming off a sour loss against Rochester on Homecoming Day, the Brandeis men’s soccer team swept Mass. Maritime Academy 6-3 on Tuesday. The Judges, ranked 12th in the nation by the NSCAA and 13th by D3Soccer.com, now carry an overall record of 11-2, while the Buccaneers stand behind with 5-5-2.
Forward Tyler Savonen ’15 had a standout game for the Judges, nailing his first collegiate hat trick in the showdown against the Buccaneers on Gordon Field. His first goal came in the 11th minute and his other two goals came in the 58th and 65th minutes of the second half.
Savonen said the 3-2 loss against Rochester over the weekend was both frustrating and unexpected for the Judges. “We all thought we outplayed them, but that’s what goes on in the UAA. Any team could win on any day.” When asked if the loss affected the team’s outlook for the rest of the season, Savonen answered, “Our game plan hasn’t changed at all, we are confident in our abilities individually, and as a team and we believe we should win the UAA.”
The forward from Orleans, Massachusetts, found his scoring opportunities by being in the right position each time, as he scored the team’s second, fourth and sixth goals against the Buccaneers. “I’ve felt very confident playing lately, and so when those opportunities arose, I knew I was going to put the ball in the net,” Savonen said.
Savonen’s first goal in minute 11 came after a shot by midfielder Kyle Feather ’14 hit the post and found him for the finish into the goal. The play started with a cross by rookie forward Evan Jastremski ’17 that sent the ball into the box and found Feather, whose shot deflected off the post and lined up for Savonen’s goal.
In minute 58, Savonen found his second opening for the goal off an assist by Feather. After intercepting the ball off a goal kick for the Buccaneers, Feather was able to find Savonen just onside and fed him a pass that gave him a clear route to the goal.
The team’s sixth goal, Savonen’s third goal for the game, came in minute 65 off a follow-up to his own shot that got blocked by the Mass. Maritime goalkeeper. After the goalie rejected the initial shot, Savonen found himself in good position to rebound the ball into the back of the net.
Savonen attributes his hat trick to an aggressive performance on offense by the Judges. “We had some nice quick play in the final third of the field and were able to ping the ball around their backs which allowed me to get in scoring positions very often,” he said.
Nailing seven points for his performance in the game, Savonen’s three goals add to his total of seven goals for the season. He now holds the 22nd position on the university’s overall scoring list with 21 goals and 12 assists for 54 points in his career. He is also the 23rd player in school history with 20 or more goals.
Feather, Jastremski and forward Michael Chaput ’16 scored the other three goals for the Judges. The first goal for the Judges came in the 7th minute by Feather off a cross by senior defender Ben Applefield. Feather’s goal, his ninth for the season, along with his assists for Savonen’s first two goals, earned him three points for the game.
After Feather and Savonen scored the first two goals for the Judges, the Buccaneers countered with a goal in the 18th minute. Before the half ended in the 32nd minute, Chaput found an opportunity to bring the score to 3-1 and achieve his third goal of the season. Assisted by rookie midfielder Josh Berg ’17, Chaput nailed his shot along the ground from 15 yards and placed it into the right corner of the net.
Savonen’s early goal in the second half sent Brandeis into a shooting spree, which quickly earned them two more goals. Jastremski got his chance in the 59th minute off an assist by forward Sam Ocel ’14. Ocel’s quick assist allowed Jastremski to go one-on-one with the keeper and secure his second goal of the season.
Though Savonen was able to attain the game-winning goal for the Judges to close the game, the Buccaneers managed to score two more goals before the final buzzer. The opponent’s second goal came in the 81st minute off a foul on Brandeis that resulted in a penalty shot. The Buccaneers later added one more goal to bring the final score to 6-3.
“I thought at times we played well against Mass. Maritime, but it definitely wasn’t one of our strongest games as a team because defensively we let up three goals, and that goes for the forwards, midfielders, backs, goalie, everyone on the field,” Savonen said.
While Brandeis managed to shoot 21 shots on goal compared to the Buccaneers, who only had 5, the Buccaneers’ three goals remind the Judges to always take the opponent seriously. Savonen admits that the big win on their home turf serves as a nice sendoff for the tough UAA competition they will face on the road this weekend. “We’re going to maintain this confidence going into this weekend with two huge away games against Carnegie Mellon on Friday and Emory on Sunday,” Savonen said.