This weekend, the Brandeis men’s soccer team went on the road to face two University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents, Emory University and the University of Rochester. Although the Judges gave it their all, they unfortunately were unable to secure a victory in either matchup.
In Atlanta, GA on Friday, Nov. 1, three exciting goals were scored in just under three minutes. The first half was seemingly uneventful, as the Emory University Eagles outshot Brandeis 11-6. However, Greg Irwin ’20, saved three shots on goal, including his two-save stretch in the 16th minute.
Both teams kicked it up a notch in the second half as Emory’s Aleijandro Gomez put the Eagles on the board in the 59th minute; he took a failed clearance attempt and sent the ball through the air, past Irwin, scoring his second goal of the season. In the 62nd minute, Brandeis joined in on the scoring when Dylan Hennessy ’20 ripped the ball from 20 yards away, passing the Eagle keeper after the ball deflected off of an Emory defender. This goal was Hennessy’s second goal of the season and sixth of his career.
Just 18 seconds after Hennessy’s powerful play, the Eagles answered with a shot which lofted over Irwin’s head. Emory Eagle Nate Sampson delivered a through-ball to Corey Levine, who scored his third of the season.
The Judges had some corner kicks down the stretch, providing them with an opportunity to tie up the game for a second time, but the Brandeis men’s soccer team was unable to capitalize on it. In the 80th minute, another Brandeis senior, Max Breiter ’20, headed the ball just wide of the near post, however, it was a valiant attempt. The Judges fell to Emory University 2-1 in the UAA matchup, which was only the third time this season that the Judges allowed two goals in a game; Irwin, though, made three saves against the Eagles.
On Sunday, Nov. 3, the Judges arrived in Rochester, NY, ready to defeat the University of Rochester (UR) Yellowjackets in their second consecutive UAA road game after coming off a tough loss to Emory. Although the Brandeis men’s soccer team outshot the host 23-9, the Yellowjackets scored two goals in a 40-second span to defeat the Judges 2-1.
In addition to outshooting the Jackets, the Brandeis men’s soccer team succeeded in putting 10 shots on net, compared to three from the men’s UR squad. The Yellowjacket keeper made a career-high seven saves, while the defense cleared two balls off the line. The first save of the game came from UR defender Will Eisold in the 11th minute, as he backed his teammate up. Brandeis’ Will DeKnight ’23 fired a shot from the edge of the box toward the lower left corner of the goal after receiving it off a deflection of the UR keeper. Luckily for UR, Eisold saved the day with his incredible slide in and clear at the last second.
Irwin, who snatched the hard header out of the air in the 15th minute of play, prevented the Yellowjackets’ first shot of the game. Nearly four minutes later, Brandeis got on the board as senior Alex Walter ’20 scored on a tough angle header at the back of the post, which came off a corner kick from Hennessy. Walter netted his first of the season, while Hennessy racked up his fifth assist—he currently leads the team.
In the second half, the Brandeis men’s soccer squad earned a corner kick in the 49th minute, but unfortunately, UR defender Tommy Nelson cleared Hennessey’s on-target attempt. Then, in the 54th minute, Rochester scored to tie up the game, 1-1. Forty seconds later, the Yellowjackets broke the tie as a deflected shot off the crossbar landed back at the feet of UR midfielder Zach Lawlor, who broke down the defense and blasted a shot into the lower right corner.
The second goal drove the visiting Judges into full gear, as they earned five corner kicks and six shots in the next 12 minutes of play. In the 58th minute, Elias Norris ’23 was unable to connect with the net to tie up the game. Just a few minutes later, Isaac Mukala ’22 provided a spark off the bench, as he had two scoring opportunities. Mukala was denied from 15 yards away on the right wing, and then again off the corner kick from the left side of the crease.
This weekend, the Judges fell to 9-5-4 overall, 2-3-1 in the UAA. The matchup against the University of Rochester was particularly important in terms of potential at-large selection into the NCAA Division III Tournament, with both UR and Brandeis sitting in the top 5 of their respective regional rankings; UR is ranked fourth in the East, while Brandeis is ranked fifth in New England.
The Judges look to bounce back on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 2:30 p.m., as Brandeis looks to defeat New York University on Senior Day.