As the men’s soccer season began to close, they played two more University Athletic Association (UAA) home games. Their first game was on Oct. 28 against Washington University in St. Louis (WashU). Last year, the Judges fell 0-2 to WashU, so they hoped this year would be different. WashU almost scored early but Brandeis goalie Aiden Guthro ’23 made an early save to prevent the early deficit. Shortly after, first-year forward Elan Romo ’26 had the Judges’ first shot of the game, but it went wide left. Brandeis followed his shot with many more shots, but nothing was falling for them early. They finally broke through in the 30th minute. A corner kick from sophomore midfielder Toby Marwell ’25 found sophomore back Andres Gonzalez ’25, who headed the ball off the post and into the net. It was Gonzalez’s second goal of the season and Marwell’s second assist of his career. Marwell and Gonzalez both had shots on target towards the end of the half, but they were both saved by the WashU goalie. At the end of the first half, Brandeis was clearly controlling the pace of the game with 11 shots compared to WashU’s three.
WashU nearly tied the game with a header to start the second half, but Guthro continued his great game with another save. Senior back Isaac Mukala ’23 had a shot on goal a few minutes later, but it was saved. Both teams traded shots, but both goalies continued to make saves. Guthro made sure that the Judges held on to that lead, especially in the 62nd minute, when he made a reaching save towards his left. In the 72nd and 75th minutes, Guthro made two more key saves as the game began to close. WashU could not get one by Guthro that day, and this led to a Judges 1-0 victory.
Although the Judges outshot WashU 11-3 in the first half, WashU put more pressure on the Judges’ defense in the second half and this led to Brandeis only outshooting them 15-11. The Judges, though, had more corner kicks, as they had five while WashU just had one. Guthro had a great overall game with seven saves, including six in the second half. It was his fifth shutout of the season. Gonzalez’s goal was his first career game winner and also his third career goal. The game was overall very physical as the two teams combined for 29 total fouls with WashU having 15 of them.
Two days later, the Judges faced the University of Chicago, which is one of the top teams in the conference. Last year, the Judges stole a victory against Chicago after junior forward Max Horowitz ’24 scored the game-winning goal in the 87th minute. This game was completely different. Chicago got fouled in the fourth minute and instantly took the lead off of a penalty kick. Then less than a minute later, they scored again to put Brandeis down 0-2 less than six minutes into the game. Gonzalez almost cut the deficit with the Judges’ first shot of the game, but his header went high over the goal. Chicago controlled the game for most of the first half as they had nine shots compared to Brandeis’ three. Brandeis did not have a shot on goal in the first half. The second half was much of the same. Chicago kept attacking even though they had a 2-0 lead. Brandeis finally got on the board in the 70th minute after a Chicago player was called for a handball in the box. First-year midfielder Rainer Osselmann-Chai ’26 stepped into the box for the penalty kick. His shot went off the Chicago goalie’s glove but still into the net. The Judges were back in the game. Even though they had the momentum, the Judges could not tie the game. It was put out of reach in the 82nd minute when Chicago scored their third goal of the game. Brandeis couldn’t get another shot off and they ultimately fell to Chicago 1-3.
Chicago played very well offensively as they had 22 shots compared to Brandeis’ nine. The Judges did have one more corner kick than Chicago, but also had 15 fouls compared to Chicago’s 12. Chicago did not have a single save in the game, while Guthro had 10. It was the second time this season that Guthro has made double-digit saves in a game and the third time in his career. Osselmann-Chai’s goal was his second in just 14 career games.
Overall, the Judges now sit at 6-7-2 and 1-5 for conference games. They will play one more game this season on Nov. 5 against New York University (NYU). This will be the team’s senior night. Last year the Judges beat NYU 1-0 in their late-season matchup.