Men's soccer claims third ECAC crown with 4-2 win at Western New England College
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Behind the stellar goalkeeping of tournament MVP Taylor Bracken (No. Andover, Mass./St. Johns Prep), the fourth-seeded Brandeis University men's soccer team upended second-seeded Western New England College, 4-2, on the Golden Bears' home turf to capture the 2010 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England title.
Brandeis scored four unanswered goals, two in each half, to take the win. Rookie forward Kyle Feather (Pinebrook, N.J./Montville Township) scored his second goal in as many games and his fourth of the season in the 11th minute to start the scoring. Feather headed home a free kick by senior midfielder Kyle Gross (Medway, Mass./Medway). The Judges doubled the lead in the 23rd minute on an unassisted goal by sophomore midfielder Joe Eisenbies (Hingham, Mass./Hingham). The shots were even in the first half, 7-7, but Bracken made five stops to keep the Golden Bears off the board.
In the second half, senior forward Steve Keuchkarian (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) scored just 3:48 into the stanza on a penalty kick for what would prove to be the game-winner. Seven minutes later, sophomore midfielder Lee Russo (Westford, Mass./Westford Acad.) notched his team-leading 10th goal of the season on an assist from Feather. It was also Russo's fifth goal of the tournament.
Western New England College finally got on the board in the 74th minute on a free kick by Corey Howard that was converted by Justin Martins after a redirect by John Stather. Stather also converted a penalty kick at the 84:20 mark against Brandeis reserve goalkeeper Matt Lynch (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) to round out the scoring.
Brandeis finished the game with a 15-13 shot advantage, but Bracken and Lynch combined for seven saves to earn the win. Bracken earned his MVP honor by making 13 saves and allowing just one goal in just over 230 minutes in net in the tournament.
Brandeis, which closed the season with a record of 12-7-1, earned their third ECAC Tournament crown, to go with wins in 1994 and 2006. The Judges have now won six-straight ECAC tournament games. WNEC's season comes to an end at 15-7-2.