WORCESTER, Mass. (courtesy WPI sports information) --- Nationally-ranked Brandeis struck for two goals early in the second half as the visiting Judges defeated WPI 2-1 in a battle of undefeated men's soccer teams on Wednesday evening. Brandeis, ranked third in New England and 20th nationally in the latest NCSAA rankings, moves to 6-0 while WPI dips to 4-1 on the year. With the win, the Judges are off to their best start since 2010, when they also started 6-0.
Trailing 1-0 at the break, Brandeis evened the tilt in the 50th minute when Jake Picard (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) collected a rebound following a Lee Russo (Westford, Mass./Westford Acad.) restart and deposited the ball into the net for his first goal of the season and of his collegiate career.
Just over 12 minutes later the visitors netted the game-winner when Foti Andreo (Lynn, Mass./Phillips Exeter) headed Sam Ocel's (North Attleboro, Mass./No. Attleboro) cross past the goalie for his first tally of 2012.
WPI had jumped out to a 1-0 lead late in the opening half when Eric Crevoiserat (Glastonbury, Conn.) took a feed from Connor Bolton (Warwick, R.I.) and rocketed a ball inside the near post from a tight angle on the right side at 40:21. It was the sophomore's first goal of the season and fifth of his career.
The Engineers had a chance to tie in the waning seconds when a long throw in by Christopher Murray (Canton, Mass.) was flicked by Chris Ciampa (Danvers, Mass.) to Jason Hopkins (Mendon, Mass.) but the senior's nifty header was tapped just over the bar by Brandeis goalkeeper Blake Minchoff (Fiskdale, Mass./Tantasqua Regional) just before the final horn blew.
Both Minchoff and his WPI counterpart Jeff Wong (Millington, N.J.) ended the game with five saves apiece in the tightly contested match. Brandeis ended with a narrow 15-13 advantage in shots and a slight 7-5 edge in corners.
Brandeis had entered the evening third nationally in total goals (22) and points (59) and ninth in scoring offense (4.4 gpg). Russo's 17 points entered the week second in the NCAA while Sam Ocel's 4 assists ranked him sixth in all of Division III.
WPI turns its attention now to its NEWMAC opener on Saturday. The Engineers will host Wheaton at 1:30pm. Brandeis is also back in action on Saturday, making the short trek to Newton to face Lasell at 1pm.