Men's soccer cracks Top 25 at No. 23

Blake Minchoff '13 (photo by Sportspix)
Blake Minchoff '13 (photo by Sportspix)
WALTHAM, Mass. – For the first time in more than a decade, the Brandeis University men's soccer team has been ranked in the top 25 in the nation in Division III, checking in at No. 23 in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll.

      In head coach Mike Coven's 40th year on the sidelines, the Judges got off to a flying start this weekend, defeating two opponents by a combined 7-0 score at the Xara Classic in Keene, N.H. Brandeis opened the season with a 3-0 win over Ithaca College thanks to a pair of goals by senior Lee Russo of Westford, Mass. They followed it up with a 4-0 win over host Keene State College thanks to a career-high five-point performance by senior Sam Ocel of North Attleboro, Mass., who scored two goals and had an assist. The Judges also played stellar defense, including senior goalkeeper Blake Minchoff of Fiskdale, Mass., who made seven saves in the two victories for his 13th and 14th career shutouts. Minchoff, who also turned in shutouts in Brandeis's final four games of the 2011 season, was among the NCAA Division III leaders in goals-against average (7th, 0.51), shutouts per game (7th, 0.62) and save percentage (20th, .864) last season.

      Brandeis is coming off a 15-5-1 season in which they defended their ECAC Division III New England crown. The Judges are scheduled to face three other teams in this week's top 25 later in the season. No. 10 Babson comes to Gordon Field on Sep. 19 at 7 p.m. Brandeis will open its University Athletic Association schedule on Sep. 29 at 7 p.m. at sixth-ranked University of Rochester, while the regular-season home finale is Oct. 28 against No. 13 Carnegie Mellon at 1:30 p.m.

Rank  School                             Previous    W-L-T

1     Trinity (Texas)                    4           2-0-0

2     York (Pa.)                         NR          2-0-0

3     Loras                              15          2-0-0

4     Ohio Northern                      12          2-0-0

5     Amherst                            6           0-0-0

6     University of Rochester            NR          2-0-0

7     Wheaton (Ill.)                     NR          2-0-0

8     Franklin & Marshall                NR          2-0-0

9     St. Lawrence                       2           2-0-0

10    Babson                             18          2-0-0

11    Muhlenberg                         NR          2-0-0

12    Salisbury                          NR          2-0-0

13    Carnegie Mellon                    NR          2-0-0

14    St. Olaf                           16          1-0-0

15    Claremont-Mudd-Scripps             NR          1-0-0

16    Dominican (Ill.)                   17          1-0-1

17    Messiah                            3           1-0-1

t18   Stevens Institute of Technology    7           1-1-0

t18   Calvin                             13          1-0-0

t18   DePauw                             NR          2-0-0

21    Wisconsin-Whitewater               NR          2-0-0

22    William Paterson                   NR          2-0-0

23    Brandeis                           NR          2-0-0

24    Whitworth                          NR          1-0-1

24    Rutgers-Camden                     4           1-0-1


Receiving votes: Montclair State, Ohio Wesleyan, Washington (Mo.), Wesleyan, Nazareth, Dickinson

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