Men's soccer upsets top-seeded Babson, 2-1, to advance to ECAC finals

BABSON PARK, Mass. (taken from a Babson press release) -- Fourth-seeded Brandeis University scored two first half goals and then held on for a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Babson College in the semifinals of the 2006 ECAC New England Men’s Soccer Tournament at Hartwell-Rogers Field on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Judges (12-7-3) move on to host #7 New England College in tomorrow’s championship game, while Babson (13-7-3) sees its season come to a close.

Brandeis dominated the first half of play, outshooting the host Beavers, 12-1. The Judges grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute, as senior Mike Sndyer (Ashby, Mass.) ripped a shot from the left side of the box that was denied by Babson junior goalie Chris Necklas (Guilford, Conn.). However, the rebound of Necklas’ diving save trickled out to the right side, where sophomore Ben Premo (Florence, Mass.) blasted a shot into an open net for the game’s first score.

The Judges added another goal at 20:48, when Snyder took a perfect lead pass from senior Yuval Ezer (Netanya, Israel) down the left side, crossed the field, and ripped a breakaway shot past Necklas and into the lower left corner. The 2-0 lead would stand until the final 10 minutes of the second half, when Brandeis was charged with an owl goal after a Babson cross was deflected into the net by a defender. The Beavers followed with more offensive pressure in the closing minutes, but first-year goalie Tyler Bracken (North Andover, Mass.) made a clean catch of junior Tom Kowalski’s (Burlington, Conn.) cross with 30 seconds remaining to help Brandeis clinch the 2-1 victory.

Necklas finished with six saves in net for Babson, while Bracken faced no shots on net for Brandeis.