Brandeis men drop UAA opener to Case, 2-1

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's soccer team scored the first goal against Case Western Reserve University in more than 690 minutes, but it wasn't enough as the Spartans scored the only second-half goal of the game to take a 2-1 victory in the University Athletic Association (UAA) opener for both teams.

Case (9-0-1, 1-0-0 UAA) opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. Sophomore forward Kevin Bigart (Naperville, Ill.) took advantage when Brandeis netminder Taylor Bracken (No. Andover, Mass.) left his line. Bigart beat the rookie to the ball and found sophomore midfielder Nate Hoffman (Wilmington, Del.), who punched home his second goal of the season.

Brandeis (3-3-3, 0-1-0 UAA) scored the first goal against Case in eight games in the 34th minute. Sophomore forward Ben Premo (Florence, Mass.) was pulled down in the Spartan box, and junior back Brett Fitzgerald (Hubbardston, Mass.) knocked home the ensuing penalty kick to even the score.

The Spartans reclaimed the lead on a PK of their own in the 56th minute as Bigart scored his seventh goal of the season after getting taken down inside Brandeis's 18-yard box. With his three points on the day, Bigart claimed the team lead with 20 points this season.

Brandeis had an outstanding opportunity to score again when Case was assessed a red card in the 69th minute, forcing them to play the final 21 minutes a man down. The Judges pressed the advantage, but three of their eight offside violations came with the man advantage. Their best chance to knot the game came on a rocket from junior midfielder Evan Duval (Wilbraham, Mass.) in the 79th minute, but Case sophomore goalie Konrad Karasek (Prospect Heights, Ill.) made a diving save to preserve the lead.

Karasek made four saves to improve to 2-0 on the season, while Bracken made two stops in the losing effort.

Brandeis travels to MIT on Wednesday for a 3:30 p.m. contest, while Case is at Kenyon College Tuesday at 4:45 p.m.