September 16, 2009

Men's soccer drops home opener to WPI, 3-2

WALTHAM, Mass. - With a three-goal second-half surge, visiting WPI upended the Brandeis University men's soccer team, 3-2, in the home opener for the Judges under the lights of Gordon Field.

Brandeis (0-3-1) dominated the first half, outshooting WPI, 14-4.  Engineer junior goalkeeper Paul Moan (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) stopped the first three Brandeis shots on goal before the Judges broke through in the 40th minute. Sophomore forward Luke Teece (Tucson, Ariz./University) made a long run from midfield, beating one defender. He slid the ball across the goal mouth, where classmate Alexander Farr (Nahant, Mass./St. John's Prep) knocked it home to give Brandeis a 1-0 lead at the break.

WPI (5-1) turned up the pressure in the second half, getting a couple of early shots and a corner kick. The turning point in the game came in the 54th minute. The Judges earned a penalty kick following a trip in the box. Rookie Joe Eisenbeis (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) went to Moan's right, but hit the post. Moan recovered to save Matt Peabody's (Brunswick, Maine/Brunwick) follow-up. Exactly four minutes later, the Engineers got a PK of their own on a similar call in the 58th minute, and senior back Tommy Zajac (Merrimack, N.H./Bishop Guertin) beat Brandeis junior Matt Lynch (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) to the left side of the net to knot the game at 1-1.

Zajac also tallied WPI's second goal in the 75th minute on a free kick after Brandeis was called for another trip about 25 yards outside the box. Zajac sent the ball off the right post and in to give the visitors the lead. WPI added a second goal 125 seconds later when junior forward Mike Ford (Whitman, Mass./Whitman-Hanson Regional) took advantage of a Judge miscue deep in their offensive zone. Ford walked in alone and beat Lynch for the 3-1 advantage.

The Judges didn't go away, however. Rookie Lee Russo (Westford, Mass./Westford Acad.) headed home a cross from junior Kyle Gross (Medway, Mass./Medway) in the 86th minute for his first collegiate goal. Brandeis got one more look in the waning seconds of the game, but Peabody's header was deflected wide and they were unable to get a good look on the ensuing corner.

For the game, Moan finished with seven saves for WPI, while Lynch had four stops for the Judges. Brandeis finished with a 22-11 shooting advantage, but the Engineers were much closer in the second half, behind by only 8-7.

Brandeis is next in action a week from today when they host MIT at 7 p.m., while WPI faces Coast Guard in their NEWMAC opener on Saturday at noon.

BOX SCORE