WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University men's soccer senior Luke Teece (Tucson, Ariz./University) assisted the game-winning goal and scored a late insurance tally today to lead the top-seeded Judges to a 3-0 victory over the fifth-seeded Norwich University Cadets in the semifinals of the 2011 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England tournament championships.
The Judges will face #2 seed Albertus Magnus College (17-3-1) in the title match tomorrow at noon. The Falcons defeated Castleton State, 5-3, in today's other semifinal. Coach Mike Coven's squad will be looking for a second-straight ECAC title and the fourth in program history, along with wins in 1994, 2006 and 2010. Brandeis will carry an eight-match ECAC winning streak into tomorrow's contest. AMC associate head coach Frank Raio is a 1983 Brandeis graduate and 2006 inductee into the Brandeis Athletic Hall of Fame.
Brandeis (14-5-1) dominated play, outshooting Norwich (12-10) by a 32-5 margin. The advantage was 13-1 in the first half, but the Judges didn't break through until the 36th minute. Sophomore back Ben Applefield (Avon, Conn./Avon) pinched in on offense and dribbled to the edge of the box. He sent a cross through the goalmouth to Teece, who headed it back towards the far post. Rookie Tyler Savonen (Orleans, Mass./Nauset Regional) was on the spot to redirect the ball with his own head, scoring his seventh goal of the season at the 35:41 mark. The assists were the third each on the season for Teece and Applefield.
Cadet sophomore Alex Toomey (Anchorage, Alaska/South Anchorage) kept his side in the contest in the first half with four of his five saves. Toomey kept the sheet clean with back-to-back saves on Brandeis senior midfielder Theo Terris (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) around the 34-minute mark shortly before the Judges broke through.
Brandeis scored twice in the second half to ice the game. Just 21 seconds into the stanza, junior forward Sam Ocel (No. Attleboro, Mass./No. Attleboro) lofted a ball from 25 yards out that drifted over Toomey's head and in the back of the net. Ocel's seventh goal of the season matches Savonen for second on the team .
Teece put the game away in the 86th minute when he dribbled from the left sideline into the top of the 18-yard box. He ripped a shot along the ground and inside the left post for his first goal of the campaign.
Toomey finished with five saves for Norwich, while Brandeis junior Blake Minchoff (Fiskdale, Mass./Tantasqua Regional) made his first two saves of the tournament, both on attempts by Norwich's leading scorer, junior Garrett Shufelt (Clifton Park, N.Y./Columbia). Minchoff was unable to extend his personal total to 12 shutouts, as he was removed with about six minutes remaining because of a slight injury. Brandeis rookie Joe Graffy (Concord, N.H./Concord) was untested in his collegiate debut. The team's 12 shutouts are two shy of the school record of 14, set in 1984.