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COED IM soccer ends in heated battle

Thursday, Oct. 1, the coed section of the Brandeis intramural soccer tournament hosted its championship on Gordon Field under the lights. The first- and second-seeded teams faced off in a cold, misty rain. However, the poor weather didn’t keep the two teams from a competitive battle.

The intramural (IM) soccer season ran from Sept. 6-24, with a week of playoffs after the end of the regular season. There were 12 teams that signed up for IM coed soccer this season and sign-ups were open to all Brandeis students. Going into to the postseason, teams are bracketed based on record and sportsmanship rating. S-quad, led by Justin Barash ’16, entered into Thursday night’s final, ranked number 1 in their undefeated season. However, Byong Sun, lead by Colby Smith ’16, came into the game ready for a face off. “I wanted our team to defend our title that we won last year in coed soccer. I wanted to go out on top since it is my senior year,” stated Smith about the importance he puts on the game. Byong Sun held the second seed, but also went undefeated in their season. Both teams had perfect records of 4-0-0.

The two teams, speckled with current and former athletes, went head to head in an intense battle. The S-quad struck first, with a goal by George Popa ’16, who struck the ball past Byong Sun’s goalie Jack Fay ’17. However, not soon after that did Byong Sun answer with their own goal by Smith. Now with the score tied, play became aggressive between the two undefeated teams. However, neither team could manage to get ahead, going into halftime with a score of 1-1.

Both teams used the break to regroup as the pressure mounted. “I take it pretty serious. I don’t like losing at any sport I play, and soccer is one of my favorites,” commented Smith. The break proved beneficial for Byong Sun as they managed to score again early in the second half. Byong Sun’s Ally Epstein ’16 launched a ball toward the net, which looked as if it would be an easy save for the S-quad goalkeeper. However, Byong Sun’s Liban Aden ’16 saw the play and snuck in front of the goalie, jumping to head the ball and changed the direction of the kick in order to sneak it by S-quad’s goalkeeper. The play ended in an epic collision between Aden and the S-quad goalkeeper, but was successful in earning Byong Sun the goal they would need to win the game.

Byong Sun managed to hold back S-quad for the remainder of the half, ensuring their victory over the first seeded squad. The S-quad players went full out, as the atmosphere got more intense in the last few minutes of the game. However the S-quad’s efforts were to no avail, as the second-seeded Byong Sun beat first-seeded S-quad, 2-1, in an upset.

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