Quick-strike men's soccer gets past JWU, 3-0, in NCAA opener

Mike Soboff '14 scored the game-winning goal and had two assists in the NCAA Tournament opener against Johnson and Wales (photo by Sportspix.biz/Mike Broglio)

WALTHAM, Mass. — The Brandeis University men's soccer team used some quick strikes, scoring twice in the first five minutes of the game and once early in the second half, to lead the Judges past Johnson and Wales University, 3-0, in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament today in front of a raucous crowd of 550 fans.

      With the win, Brandeis improves to 15-4-1 overall, 9-1-1 at home on the season. Johnson and Wales suffers just its second loss of the campaign to fall to 14-2-6. Brandeis has now won three-straight NCAA games at home over the last two seasons. The Judges will take on the winner of tonight's second contest between Rutgers-Newark and Roger Williams tomorrow at 5 p.m.

      Brandeis wasted little time getting on the board, scoring goals on its first two shots of the contest. In the second minute, junior forward Tyler Savonen (Orleans, Mass./Nauset Regional) beat Johnson and Wales junior goalie Ryan Dzierawski (Oakland, Mich./Rochester-Adam) to a ball at the upper right corner of the box. Savonen took a touch to beat the keeper and crossed it to a wide open Michael Soboff (Framingham, Mass./Newton South), who converted for his fifth goal of the season at the 1:51 mark.

      Just over three minutes later, Soboff returned the favor. Senior Sam Ocel (No. Attleboro, Mass./No. Attleboro) found Soboff on the left wing, and his cross from there found Savonen for his team-leading 11th tally of the season.

      "I thought that was the game right there," said Brandeis's 41st-year head coach Michael Coven. "Not to take anything away from Johnson and Wales, but we have been playing such good team defense, I didn't think we would ever give up three goals."

      The Judges ended up controlling the game to the extent that they didn't even give up three shots, outshooting the Wildcats 9-1 in the half and by a 23-2 margin for the game.  Brandeis tacked on a second insurance goal just 3:01 into the second half. In the 49th minute, Soboff picked up his second assist and fourth point of the game when he played a ball across the net to rookie forward Evan Jastremski (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield), who deposited it in the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season.

      JWU got its only shot on goal in the 61st minute, when rookie Xavier Carty (Mt. Vernon, N.Y./Thornton) put one on Brandeis junior Joe Graffy (Concord, N.H./Concord), who made the save to preserve his seventh clean sheet of the season. Dzierawski had six saves in the losing effort.

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Roger Williams University scored three second-half goals, propelling the Hawks to a 3-1, come-from-behind victory over the Rutgers-Newark Scarlet Raiders in first-round NCAA Tournament action at Gordon Field.

Roger Williams, now 16-5-2 overall, will face Brandeis tomorrow at 5 p.m.

Rutgers-Newark got on the board first thanks to the gifted right foot of striker Raphael Araujo (North Plainfield, N.J./North Plainfield). The junior took a cross from classmate Patryk Dawidczyk (Bayonne, N.J./Bayonne) and calmly one-timed the ball into the top-left corner of the net. It was the 28th goal of the season for Araujo, tying him for second best in all of Division III.

The Scarlet Raiders outshot the Hawks, 13-3, in the first half, and looked in control of the game.

Against the run of play, Roger Williams found a brilliant equalizer in the 57th minute. Sophomore James Sheldon (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) played a tantalizing ball across the face of the net, where senior Daniel Caruso (Tewksbury, Mass./Central Catholic) met the ball and one-timed it home.

With the momentum squarely on their side, the Hawks scored twice more in the next 10 minutes. In the 60th minute, rookie Trevor Sparda (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) knocked home the go-ahead goal. Senior Trevor Hoxsie (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) sliced a shot wide off of a corner kick, but the ball fortunately found Sparda, who finished under Rutgers-Newark sophomore keeper Matt Broomall (Somers Point, N.J./Mainland Regional).

Rutgers-Newark nearly equalized in the 64th, but a shot by junior Diego Moraes (Newark, N.J./Science Park) was cleared off the line by Roger Williams junior Andre Brueckner(W. Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury).

On the ensuing counter-attack, Hoxsie got Roger Williams an insurance goal. The senior co-captain took a long ball from the back and put on a clinic, beating two defenders and touching the ball around the keeper before finishing his team-leading 14th tally of the season.

Rutgers-Newark controlled the ball much of the rest of the way, but a determined Roger Williams defense prevented the Scarlet Raiders from getting back into the contest. Rutgers-Newark's best chance came in the 75th minute, but junior Edgar Abreu (Newark, N.J./Science Park) had his effort cleared off the line on a diving stop by Hawks senior Scott Boucher (Harwington, Conn./Lewis Mills). An 85th-minute header in the 6-yard box by senior defender Jason Chung (Jackson, N.J./Monroe Township) also sailed high, and Rutgers-Newark was unable to threaten again.

The Scarlet Raiders took 17 shots in the second half, outshooting the Hawks 30-9 in the match. Roger Williams senior keeper Jon Pelloso (Wilbraham, Mass./Minnechaug) made eight saves in net.