October 3, 2012

Livadaru strike extends men's unbeaten streak to 16 with 1-0 win over Wheaton

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis junior Tudor Livadaru (Bronx, N.Y./Riverdale-Kingbridge Acad.) scored his second goal of the season in the 72nd minute tonight to lead the ninth-ranked Judges past visiting Wheaton College, 1-0, in a non-conference men's soccer game on Gordon Field.

With the win, the Judges improve to 10-0-1 on the season, extending their unbeaten streak 16 games dating back to last season and setting a school record in the process. The Judges, who are 15-0-1 in their last 16 contests, broke the school record for most consecutive games without a loss, set in 1985, when they won 15-straight games to start the season. The Judges just missed the school record for a winning streak when they tied at the University of Rochester on Saturday night.

Wheaton falls to 6-4-1 on the season. The Lyons are 6-0 at home in 2012, but fall to 0-4-1 on the road.

The first half was slow, with Brandeis outshooting Wheaton, 9-3, and earning seven corner kicks to none for the Lyons, but rookie Matt Dickey (Newton, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) made four stops to keep the game even. Dickey made a late save on Livadaru with 15 seconds left in the half to send the game into the break scoreless.

In the second half, Wheaton got their first good look at Brandeis senior goalkeeper Blake Minchoff (Fiskdale, Mass./Tantasqua Regional) in the 60th minute, when he denied rookie Kai Gooden (London, England/Berkshire School) and sophomore Travis Blair's ensuing rebound went wide. Brandeis went the other way and forced Dickey to come up with his best effort of the night on Judge senior Sam Ocel (No. Attleboro, Mass./No. Attleboro) in the 61st minute and forcing junior back Ben Applefield (Avon, Conn./Avon) to shoot high right after.

The teams traded the next four shots, with Dickey making two saves and Minchoff one before Livadaru broke the deadlock. He took a long clear around midfield and dribbled for about 30 yards before launching a left-footed shot from the right side of the field into the back netting at 71:20. The goal was the third of Livadaru's career and his first collegiate game-winner. Wheaton stepped up its offensive pressure over the final 18 minutes of action, but the Judges were able to hold them at bay. The Lyons had one final attempt as time ran out when they earned a free kick deep in the offensive zone, but senior David Turina's (N. Yarmouth, Maine/Northfield Mount Hermon) free kick from about 20 yards out went just wide of the far post.  

Minchoff made two second-half saves to record his fourth shutout of the season and the 16th of his career. Dickey had nine stops for the Lyons, giving him 21 in the last two contests.

Brandeis returns to University Athletic Association action on Saturday afternoon when they take on Case Western Reserve University at 1:30 p.m. Wheaton continues a five-match road trip at NEWMAC foe Coast Guard at 11 a.m. the same day.