The Brandeis University men’s soccer team opened up University Athletic Association (UAA) conference play at home against the Case Western Reserve Spartans and Mass Maritime.
The Judges battled to break a tied score in the final 10 minutes of regulation but were unable to get the go ahead goal in overtime, taking the draw. The first half was slow for both offenses as neither team was able to gain an edge, with shots just 3-1 in favor of the Judges with just under two minutes to play before the half. However, the Spartans ended the scoring drought at the 43:12 mark off a corner kick that went directly into the far net, giving Case Western a 1-0 advantage heading into intermission. Both teams came out of the half boosting up the pressure on ball, as both teams generated eight shots. The Spartans were able to put five of their eight on goal, but it was the Judges that would punch home the equalizer in the 81st minute.
Brandeis earned a free kick on the right sideline about 35 yards out, when back Dylan Hennessy ’20 sent the free kick to the far side of the box where Noah Gans ’21 one-touched it back to the top of the box and Colin Panarra ’20 handled the rest, blasting home his first of the season and the first of his Brandeis career. It was quite a moment for the senior as Panarra had missed six of the previous seven games due to injury. In overtime the Judges took control, outshooting the Spartans 6-1 with two tremendous opportunities in the second overtime period, as Panarra got a shot on a corner kick in the 105th minute and Will DeNight ’23 getting denied on a shot with under a minute to play. Keeper Greg Irwin ’20 tied his career high with eight saves in the afternoon, five coming in the second half. It ended in a 1-1 draw.
In a non-conference matchup against Mass Maritime the team was led by midfielder Gans who scored two goals in the span of five minutes to give the Judges a 3-0 victory. With the win, Brandeis improves to 7-2-4, while the Buccaneers fall to 2-9-3. The first goal came on a free kick in the 11th minute as Gans set up left of goal, 25 yards out and rolled one past the wall of the MMA goalkeeper to give the Judges a 1-0 advantage.
Just under six minutes later, Gans would strike again, this time off a rebound that fell to his right foot for an open shot that he blasted home to put his team up 2-0. The goals were Gan’s second and third of the season, making it the seventh of his career. It marked his second two-goal game, as he previously did it three days shy of two years ago, Oct. 18th, 2017, against Clark. The Judges’ last goal would come in the 39th minute, going down in the book as an own goal. Sammy Guttell ’22 took a shot on goal and while attempting to clear the ball over his own net, a Maritime midfielder put the ball into the back of the net for the own goal. The second half went back and forth with neither team able to gain momentum or find the back of the net again.
Goalkeeper Irwin did not face one hot on goal in the first half in the 3-0 victory. In relief of Irwin, Aiden Guthro ’23 began the second half and Max Blacker ’22 would play out the final 19 minutes. Blacker faced the lone shot of the night, making the save. Brandeis outshot MMA 16-4 for the contest, and had a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.
The Judges will return to conference action on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. as they will host the fifth ranked University of Chicago Maroons.