WALTHAM, Mass. – For the first time ever, both the Brandeis men's and women's soccer teams have earned a national ranking by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in the same season. The Brandeis men (5-0) are ranked for the second week in a row, moving up three spots to No. 20 in Division III, while the Brandeis women (4-0) enter the poll for the first time this season at No. 18. Both teams are ranked third in New England.
The Brandeis men, under head coach Mike Coven, who is in his 40th season on the sidelines, went 3-0 last week to move up in the NSCAA poll. The Judges' ranking is as high as it has been since the last time they were ranked in October 1997, when they reached No. 18. Last week the Judges defeated Colby-Sawyer College, 7-0; Clark University, 4-2; and had an overtime thriller, 4-3, over MIT. Brandeis is led by senior forward Lee Russo, who was named University Athletic Association (UAA) Player of the Week after scoring five goals with three assists. Russo leads Brandeis and the UAA with seven goals and 16 points so far this season. The Judges have won 10 straight matches dating back to last season, when they won their second-straight Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England title.
The Brandeis women, in head coach Denise Dallamora's 33rd year of coaching, won two games last week to move up two spots in the NSCAA New England ranking and make their first entrance in the national poll since they were also 18th in the second poll of 2011. The Judges are coming off wins over Roger Williams University, 4-0, and a 2-0 upset of then-23rd-ranked Springfield College. Sophomore forward Dara Spital, a transfer from the University of Central Florida, scored four of her team's six goals last week, including both game-winners. With five goals and three assists for 13 points this season, Spital is ranked 14th in Division III in scoring in the first NCAA statistical rankings of the season. Brandeis's four shutouts match their season total from a year ago, while their win total is two shy of their 2011 campaign.
The Brandeis women are back in action today at 3:30 p.m. at Bridgewater State University, returning home to Gordon Field on Sept. 15 against Bowdoin College at 1 p.m. The men are next at WPI tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. and at local rival Lasell on Saturday at the same time.
For more information on Brandeis men's soccer, visit their web page at http://www.brandeisjudges.com/sports/msoc/index.
For more information on Brandeis women's soccer, visit their web page at http://www.brandeisjudges.com/sports/wsoc/index.