BABSON PARK, Mass. (courtesy Babson sports information) – In a battle of two top-10 teams in New England, Babson College junior captain Max Walker (Newton, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal with just over seven minutes remaining in the second overtime to lift the ninth-ranked Beavers men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over longtime rival Brandeis University, ranked eighth, at Hartwell-Rogers Field on Saturday afternoon. With the win, Babson, improved to 7-2-0 on the year, while the Judges, fell to 6-2-0, suffering their second-straight loss after winning their first six matches.
Babson struck first early in the first half, as senior back Ben Meyerson (South Nyack, N.Y.) intercepted a pass on the right side and sent a long cross through the box. Junior Billy Nickerson (Middleton, Mass.) just missed a header attempt on the ball at the near post, but sophomore Eric Anderson (Scituate, Mass.) slid in and redirected into the lower left corner for the game's first goal at 15:14.
Brandeis answered later in the half, beginning when junior Evan Ersing (Beverly, Mass./St. Johns Prep) gained possession in the right corner and sent a cross to the far side of the box. Junior Luke Teece (Tucson, Ariz./University) then headed a shot back toward the near post and into the upper right corner, tying the game at 30:22. It was Teece's team-leading fifth goal of the season.
Babson had the two best chances in the scoreless second half, but Walker's header at 47:11 and first-year Mike Fisher's (Longmeadow, Mass.) bid at 53:59 both caromed off the post. The Beavers then had two more great scoring opportunities in the first overtime session, but Brandeis senior goalie Taylor Bracken (North Andover, Mass./St. Johns Prep) made a pair of magnificent diving saves on hard-hit shots by Walker – the first four minutes into the period and the second two minutes later.
The Beavers finally put the game away in the second overtime, beginning when a Brandeis defender's attempted clear found its way to a wide-open Walker on the left side of the box. Babson's junior captain then took a quick touch past a sprawling Bracken before running it down and burying the game-winning goal inside the right post at 102:54.
Junior Peter Crowley (Lexington, Mass.) made three saves to earn his seventh win of the season for Babson, while Bracken was also stellar in goal for Brandeis, finishing with seven saves.