WALTHAM, Mass.- On Senior Day, junior forward Tyler Savonen (Orleans, Mass./ Nauset Regional) netted his team leading 10th goal of the season in the first half and added an assist in the second half as the Brandeis University men's soccer team completed its regular season with a 2-0 victory over University Athletic Association (UAA) rival NYU. The Judges improved to 14-4-1 (3-3-1 UAA) while the Violets fell to 6-8-3 (0-6-1 UAA).
The Judges will await the Division III Men's Soccer Selection Show on Monday, November 11th at 1:00 p.m. to determine their postseason fate.
In the first half, the Judges did a good job of controlling possession and playing at their pace. An overeager offense was caught offsides five times (nine for the match) but managed to gain a slight 4 to 3 edge in shots. In the 16th minute, Brandeis was able to break through. Senior defender Ben Applefield (Avon, Conn./ Avon) played Savonen in with a well-paced ball from out on the left wing. Savonen beat his defender to the ball and then expertly slotted his right-footed effort into the bottom right hand corner of the goal for his second game in a row with a tally.
In the second half, Brandeis continued to win possession and control the flow of the match. They outshot the Violets 8 to 3 while earning four corner kicks to one for NYU. In the 70th minute, the Judges put the game away behind an excellent effort from Savonen. Savonen fought through two defenders and won the ball deep in the left corner of the field. He made a move towards the touch line and whipped a dangerous ball with his left foot through the box. The cross found rookie forward Evan Jastremski (Marshfield, Mass./ Marshfield) waiting by the far post and Jastremski finished the play with a right-footed blast past the Violets' diving rookie keeper Lucas Doucette (San Diego, Calif./ Torrey Pines).
Brandeis' junior goalie Joe Graffy (Concord, N.H./ Concord) needed only one stop to secure his fourth consecutive shutout and sixth clean sheet of the year. Graffy improved to 11-4-1. Doucette made two saves on the afternoon but fell to 2-6-2.
Before the match, the 2013-14 senior class was honored. This year's senior class will go down as one of the most successful in school history. Over their four years at Brandeis, they have compiled a 59-19-4 record, winning two New England ECAC championships. In 2012, they helped earn a share of the first UAA championship in Brandeis soccer history, making it to the Sweet 16 of NCAA tournament and finishing the year ranked 13th in the country.
This year's group of seniors has also compiled numerous individual accolades throughout the last four years which include several Academic and Athletic All UAA selections, NSCAA and ECAC All region selections, NSCAA and CoSida Academic All Region Honors. Sam Ocel (No. Attleboro, Mass./ No. Attleboro) was the 2012 UAA player of the year along with being both an NSCAA All American and Academic All American.
The entire group of seniors included the tri-captains Ocel, Applefield, and Kyle Feather (Pinebrook, N.J./ Montville Township), starting forward Tudor Livadaru (Bronx, N.Y./ Riverdale-Kingsbridge Acad.) and center back Matt Brondoli (Durham, N.C./ Durham School of the Arts), reserves Ethan Bercelli (Derry, N.H./ Pinkerton Acad.), Matt Peabody (Brunswick, Maine/ Brunswick), Stephen Salazar (Revere, Mass./ Malden Catholic), and Harold Salinas (E. Boston, Mass./ Rivers School), and student assistant coach Jordan Zides.