November 1, 2013

Brandeis, WashU men play to goalless draw

Waltham, Mass. - Despite several excellent scoring opportunities for both teams, the Brandeis University and Washington University in St. Louis men's soccer teams were unable to break the deadlock, drawing 0-0 at Gordon Field this evening. It was the first draw of the season for the Judges, who are now 12-4-1, 1-3-1 in the UAA. WashU moves to 8-4-3, 1-2-2 in conference play.

Each team had two excellent opportunities towards the end of regulation. In the 74th minute, WashU senior Jeremy Kirkwood (Phoenix, Md./McDonogh School) was played through on goal and touched the ball past Brandeis junior keeper Joe Graffy (Concord, N.H./Concord). However, Brandeis sophomore centerback Conor Lanahan (Avon, Conn./Avon) recovered just in time, excellently screening Kirkwood off the ball, and drawing a foul and yellow card on the striker in the process.

WashU had another excellent opportunity following yellow cards on Brandeis senior Ben Applefield (Avon, Conn./Avon) and junior Tyler Savonen (Orleans, Mass./Nauset Regional), but Graffy was able to scramble away a loose ball in front of his net.

The Judges nearly had a late winner of their own. In the 81st minute, a corner by junior Michael Soboff (Framingham, Mass./Newton South) found Lanahan's head, but the 6-foot-3 defender's shot bounced just wide of the far post.

With just 70 seconds on the clock, a cross from the left flank by senior Tudor Livadaru (Bronx, N.Y./Riverdale-Kingsbridge Acad.) nearly found Savonen's foot in the 6-yard box. But under pressure from a WashU defender, the junior forward was unable to redirect the ball, and it harmlessly bounced wide.

Both teams had half-chances in overtime, but neither side truly threatened to break the ice. WashU took three shots in the first extra period, but two were sent directly at Graffy, while one skirted wide. The Judges had two opportunities in the second period, but a Soboff strike went directly at WashU senior keeper Jonathan Jebson (Dexter, Mich./Dexter), while a point-blank shot by Savonen sailed wide left.

A back-and-forth first half saw its chances, but the two sides again could not convert. A left-footed cross by rookie Zach Viera (Andover, Mass./Brooks School) found the head of senior Sam Ocel (No. Attleboro, Mass/No. Attleboro) in the 26th minute, but Ocel's header went over the bar. In the 30th, a shot by Soboff was smartly punched away by Jebson. The Bears' had a nice give-and-go in the 42nd minute, but junior Randy Gartside (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) saw his shot from the right side of the box just miss the far post.

WashU outshot Brandeis 14-11 in the game, forcing Graffy into seven saves compared to three for Jebson. The Judges had a 4-2 edge in corners, but committed 19 fouls compared to just nine by the Bears.

Brandeis is back in action at 11 a.m. on Sunday against the University of Chicago. WashU will travel to NYU for a game against the Violets at the same time.