WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University sophomore midfielder Lee Russo (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) nearly doubled his season scoring output in the first half tonight, scoring four straight goals, to lead the Judges over visiting the Albertus Magnus College Falcons, 5-0, in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Men's Soccer Championships.
With the win, fourth-seeded Brandeis improves to 10-7-1. The Judges will take on top-seeded Bridgewater State University on Saturday at Western New England College in Springfield. Game time is to be announced. Fifth seed Albertus Magnus closes its winningest season at 15-6-1.
Russo was the star of the game, scoring all four first-half goals and assisting the lone tally of the second half. He scored his first two goals a mere 26 seconds apart, with junior midfielder Theo Terris (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) earning both assists. At the 10:05 mark, Russo converted a terrific through ball from Terris that released him one-on-one versus the Falcon goalie. At 10:31, Terris headed the ball to the left sideline near midfield. Russo tracked it down and dribbled the length of the field, blasting it home from just inside the box.
In the 26th minute, Russo completed the hat trick on another long through ball, this one by junior back David McCoy (Weymouth, Mass./Catholic Memorial). With just under five minutes remaining in the half, senior forward Steve Keuchkarian (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) played a beautiful ball from the right sideline over to the left side of the box. Russo outraced his defender to the ball and one-timed it home for his fourth of the night and his ninth of the season. Russo had entered the game with only six career goals. In the 53rd minute, Russo returned the favor, assisting Keuchkarian's third goal of the season, a blast from the right side of the box.
Brandeis outshot AMC, 28-11, for the game, but Falcon rookie Donato Piroscafo (Naugatuck, Conn./Naugatuck) had eight saves on the night, including a stop on a penalty kick in the 72nd minute. Classmate Francois Brown (New Haven, Conn./Wilbur Cross) had one stop in 16 minutes of action. Brandeis's senior tandem of Taylor Bracken (No. Andover, Mass./St. Johns Prep) and Matt Lynch (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) had three and two saves, respectively, as they combined for the Judges' eighth shutout of the campaign.