Russo strikes first, but #12 WashU rolls in 2nd half to 4-1 win

ST. Louis, Mo. -- The Brandeis University men's soccer team struck first, but it was 12th-ranked Washington University who got the last laugh tonight, scoring four unanswered goals to take a 4-1 decision in University Athletic Association play. The Judges fall to 9-5-1, 1-3-1 in the UAA, and sit in a three-way tie for sixth place in the conference. The Bears improve to 13-1-3, 3-1-1 UAA and are one point out of first behind NYU, who visits on Sunday afternoon.

The Judges struck early against the hosts, getting on the board in the ninth minute. Senior Steve Keuchkarian (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) sent a ball through the defense that sophomore forward Lee Russo (Westford, Mass./Westford Acad.) buried for his fifth goal of the season. The goal was just the sixth allowed by WashU all season, while Russo became the fourth player on the Judges with at least five goals this season.

Brandeis senior netminder Taylor Bracken (No. Andover, Mass./St. Johns Prep) was fantastic in the first 45 minutes, making five stops. WU finally solved Bracken in the 43rd minute, when Dylan Roman got loose on a breakaway and sent a shot between Bracken's legs to knot the game. Washington owned a 7-4 edge in shots, but Bracken kept the game even on the scoreboard.

The second half was a different story, as the Bears scored twice in the first five minutes to put the game away. Both goals came from Jeremy Kirkwood, his second and third of the campaign. At the 47:47 mark, Kirkwood headed home a corner kick off the foot of Cody Kostakis. Just 83 seconds later, at 49:10, Kirkwood got free on a pass from Patrick McLean and beat Bracken one-on-one for an insurance goal. After going a man down in the 73rd minute, the Judges gave up another goal two minutes later, when McLean found Zach Hendrickson for his first goal of the campaign.

Brandeis is next in action on Sunday when they take on the University of Chicago at 2:30 p.m. Eastern in another UAA clash.