The men’s soccer reached a landmark win against Babson College on Friday, Sept. 12. The match marked the 500th win for head coach Michael Coven, crowning him as the sixth in NCAA Division III history to reach the milestone.
Coven is currently in his 43rd season with the Judges. He is the second-longest tenured men’s soccer coach in NCAA history behind Tony Tocco of Division II Rockhurst University, who is in his 44th season.
Coven has coached a total of nine teams into the NCAA Division III tournament with a championship title in 1976. The team pushed far into the NCAA tournament last year, advancing to the Elite Eight. In 2012, the Brandeis coach earned the honor of being named the UAA and NCAA Division III coach of the year.
Coven’s overall record after the Babson game boasts 500 wins to 258 losses and 52 tied games. He joins Ron Butcher from Keene State College, who was the first to reach 500 wins in the New England region.
In a heartfelt speech after the Babson game, Coven thanked his players from all 43 years who demonstrated not only skill in the game but character as well. He praised the pride held by all of his current and former players in Brandeis soccer.
The men’s soccer team has historically had a rivalry with the Babson Beavers. The game tallied at the 63rd face-off between the two. Babson historically leads the total with 28 wins over the Judges to Brandeis’s 25 wins over the Beavers (ties occurred in ten meetings).
In the Judges’ last meeting with Babson on September 12, Brandeis was ready to secure Coven his 500th win despite the opposing team being more than 30 minutes late. However, the game was intense as a large crowd gathered to watch Coven take his 500th win. The Beaver goalkeeper made some incredible saves, recording nine saves before the last one found the back of the Babson net. The Judges played tough offense, keeping the game primarily on their opponent’s side of the field. They had 21 shots in total, with 10 on goal, compared to Babson’s 10 shots with only one on goal.
The Judges went scoreless through the entire game with the Beavers. The Judges couldn’t get the best of the Beaver’s goalkeeper in the first overtime period either, as both teams got two shots off in the extra time.
In a climactic second overtime, the Judges scored the winning goal off a header after delivering the first three shots of the overtime period. A Babson penalty set the Judges up for the opportunity. In the 108th minute of the game, Josh Ocel ’17 lobbed a ball into a cluster of players in front of the goal. Senior captain Jake Picard ’16 found the ball and headed it past the goalie at the goal for a 1-0 victory over Babson.
The Judges also faced off against Worcester Polytechnic University on Wednesday Sept. 16. The team pulled out the 1-0 win in double overtime. The goal again came from Picard, with an assist from Christian Hernandez ’18.
The Judges are scheduled to play their next game against Tufts University on Saturday, Sept. 26. Brandeis looks to end Tufts’ undefeated record in the away game. The Judges enters the next game with a 6-1 record. They look to extend their win streak to five games in a row.