WALTHAM, Mass.- On Homecoming Day, the 12th-ranked Brandeis University men's soccer team fell to the 25th-ranked University of Rochester Yellowjackets in a hard-fought University Athletic Association (UAA) matchup on Gordon Field. After a scoreless first half, the goals flew fast and furiously in the second half with the Yellowjackets earning a 3-2 victory on the road to improve to 9-1-1 (2-0 UAA) while the Judges move to 10-2 (1-1 UAA).
In the first half, both sides struggled to break through as each squad notched just two shots on goal. Brandeis controlled the midfield for most of the period and was able to use the wings to their advantage but could not push a goal across despite earning three corner kicks to none for Rochester.
In the second half there were almost no missed opportunities as the teams combined for five goals in about a 20 minute stretch. The first goal came in the 56th minute when two senior captains connected to give the Judges a 1-0 advantage. Midfielder Kyle Feather (Pinebrook, N.J./ Montville Township) played a ball across the box to defender Ben Applefield (Avon, Conn./ Avon). Applefield fired a lefty shot past the diving keeper and into the bottom right corner of the net for his second score of the season.
The Yellowjackets answered in the 62nd minute when they earned a free kick in Brandeis' half. The ball into the box was flicked off the head of junior defender Keith Grafmeyer (North Royalton, Ohio/ Walsh Jesuit) and forced the Judges' junior netminder Joe Graffy (Concord, N.H./ Concord) into a diving stop. Rochester's sophomore defender Sean Daly (Cold Spring, N.Y./ Haldane) was there for the rebound and tapped it into an open net to knot the game at 1-1.
Brandeis struck right back only a minute and a half later to regain their advantage. A corner kick on the right side from sophomore midfielder Josh Hacunda (Hopkinton, Mass./ Hopkinton) found the head of classmate midfielder Jake Picard (Suffield, Conn./ Suffield). Picard's header forced a save from the Yellowjackets' senior goalkeeper Mike Moranz (Pittsford, N.Y./ Pittsford Sutherland) but junior forward Tyler Savonen (Orleans, Mass./ Nauset Regional) was there to clean up the mess with his fourth goal of the season.
The Judges' 2-1 lead did not last long when Rochester's junior forward Alex Swanger (Penfield, N.Y./ Penfield) blasted a shot from just outside the box in the 74th minute and past a diving Graffy for the equalizer.
Still, the Yellowjackets were not done and gained their first lead of the match in the 78th minute. Off of another free kick in Brandeis' half, junior forward Shane Dobles (Spencerport, N.Y./ Spencerport) found rookie forward Jeff Greblick (Langrangeville, N.Y./ Arlington) right outside the goalie box. Greblick's leaping header gave Rochester a 3-2 lead that they held despite a furious attack from the Judges in the final four minutes.
Graffy fell to 7-2 on the season despite making four saves while Moranz got the win with four stops on the afternoon.
The Judges continue their schedule with a non-conference match on Tuesday October 15th on Gordon Field against Massachusetts Maritime at 7:00 p.m. The Yellowjackets resume UAA play with a 5:00 p.m. match at Chicago on Friday October 18th.