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Men’s soccer returns with even results

After finishing last season with just one loss in their last five games, the Brandeis men’s soccer team looked to continue to make strides and show improvement going into this season. The first game was away against Western New England University (WNEU). Last year, the Judges faced WNEU in the first game of the season and the game ended in a draw. This year, the Judges made sure that the game did not end in a draw.

Eight minutes into the game, forward Elan Romo ’26 took the first shot of the season, but it was ultimately saved by the WNEU goalie. Senior Isaac Mukala ’23 followed the shot with a shot of his own toward the top right that was again saved. Both teams continued to take shots until Brandeis got their first goal of the season. Senior forward Sancho Maroto Tobias ’23 scored his first goal for Brandeis on an assist by junior forward Max Horowitz ’24. Marato Tobias was a transfer from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and he immediately made an impact in his first game with Brandeis. Less than 10 minutes later, Horowitz continued his excellent game with a goal of his own with an assist coming from freshman midfielder Rainer Osselmann-Chai ’26. It was Osselman-Chai’s first career assist and Horowitz’s third career goal. Although both teams traded shots to end the half, no more goals were scored in the first period. After 10 minutes into the second period, the Judges put the pressure on the WNEU with shots from Marato Tobias and sophomore back Andres Gonzales ’25. Finally, the Judges put a shot in the net from a goal by Romo and assisted by Maroto Tobias. It was Romo’s first career goal for Brandeis and Maroto Tobias’ first assist with his new team. Just less than 10 minutes later, in the 70th minute, junior forward Roee Maor ’24 made a great run before scoring an unassisted goal to put Brandeis up 4-0. Maor is a transfer student from Fordham University, so like Maroto Tobias, scored a goal in his debut with the new school. Neither team scored for the remaining 20 minutes as Brandeis started the season with a dominant 4-0 win. Although both teams had a similar number of shots, 14 for Brandeis and 10 for WNEU, the Judges had nine shots on goal compared to just one from WNEU. Goalie Aiden Guthro ’23 saved the one shot on goal from WNEU and therefore gave him his first clean sheet of the season.

Three days later on Sept. 4, the team played their first home game of the season in a game against Denison University. Although it was a home game for Brandeis, it almost didn’t seem like one. There was a huge crowd of Denison fans that made the trip to watch the game. It was a hot sunny day as the two teams walked out onto Gordon Field. The game started with two quick corner kicks from Denison that amounted to nothing. Brandeis followed with two corner kicks of their own but ultimately could not get a shot off. In the 12th minute, Denison got their first shot on goal, but Guthro had a clean save. The Judges got their first shot from a header by senior back Forest Shimazu ’23. His shot sailed high, so after 17 minutes, the game remained tied. Gonzalez on a free kick had the first shot on goal for Brandeis, but it was ultimately saved by the Denison goalie. The two teams were scoreless going into halftime as the sun continued to beat down on everyone at the field. At half time you could see people leaving the stands in search of shade. A large group of Denison fans even went to the far side of the field to hover around a fence in the shade. After just a minute into the second half, the Judges got fouled in the penalty box and were awarded a penalty shot. Gonzalez stepped into the box to take the shot. There was a slight murmur in the crowd as everyone was ready for the tie to be broken. He shot left and the goalie dived left to make the save. After that, the game almost felt destined to be a draw. Both teams had solid runs and scoring opportunities but neither team could score. After a long hot Sunday, the final score was 0-0. Brandeis had half the number of shots Denison had, as Denison had 16 compared to Brandeis’ eight. Both teams had three shots on target. Guthro, therefore, had three saves and his second clean sheet of the season.

In almost a completely opposite game setting from the game against Denison, the Judges faced Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in a cool night game on Sept. 7. In their matchup last year, Brandeis lost 0-1 in an overtime heartbreaker. So this year, the Judges looked to have their revenge game. However, it took just two minutes for both teams to get a shot off. WPI then quickly scored their first goal of the night just five minutes into the game. They didn’t stop there, as WPI kept taking shots before getting a free kick in the 13th minute. The free kick went up but unfortunately was headed into the net by a Brandeis player. In less than 15 minutes, the Judges were already down 0-2. The two teams went back and forth but no more goals were scored until the 42nd minute. After a foul by WPI, the Judges were awarded a free kick. Osselman-Chai whipped the ball toward the back post as Mukala jumped up for the header. The ball floated in the air before going into the top left of the goal to cut the deficit to 1-2. This was Osselman-Chai’s second assist of the young season and Mukala’s second goal of his career. At halftime, the score was 2-1 in favor of WPI. Although it seemed like momentum was on Brandeis’ side going into halftime, WPI made sure to take that back with the start of the second half. WPI had three shots in the first six minutes of the half before putting their fourth shot into the net to give them a 3-1 lead. Brandeis tried to answer but it seemed like all their shots were getting blocked or saved. Finally, the team broke through and scored another in the 74th minute. Senior forward Sammy Guttell ’23 somehow stayed in-bounds as he kicked the ball back towards the goal. Midfielder Nico Beninda ’26 on his first touch, kicked the ball with his left foot into the top right corner of the goal. It was Guttell’s first career assist and Beninda’s first career goal. The Judges had the opportunity to tie the game with two corner kicks nearly back-to-back, but ultimately could not even the score. Brandeis fell to WPI 2-3. WPI outshot Brandeis 15-11 and had four more shots on target than Brandeis. The Judges had eight corner kicks in the game compared to WPI’s two. Guthro had six saves in the game.

After three games into the season, the men’s soccer team has a record of 1-1-1. They will next play a home game against Babson College on Sept. 10. The team will then have to wait a week before playing their next game away against Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

 

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