KEENE, N.H. – Led by tournament most valuable player Michael Soboff (Framingham, Mass./Newton North), the 17th-ranked Brandeis University men's soccer team defeated host Keene State College, 2-1, to go undefeated at the Keene State Classic for the fifth year in a row. The Judges defeated Hobart College, 5-0, in the opener on August 30. Soboff totaled three goals in the two games, including the game-winner on Saturday against Hobart.
In today's match against Keene State, Soboff got the scoring started in the 18th minute, converting a feed from sophomore Josh Ocel (No. Attleboro, Mass./Worcester Acad.). Keene State scored the first goal allowed by the Judges this season in the 32nd minute, when Cam Rogers was there to finish a free kick by Kaleb Lique-Naitove that Ian Downing headed across the goal mouth.
Keene State keeper Michael Ketterman made a diving stop in the 41st minute to take the match to halftime even at 1-1. Brandeis outshot KSC, 6-4, with both teams putting three shots on goal.
In the second half, Soboff hit the crossbar and fired wide with under 15 minutes left in regulation before the game-winning goal came in the 80th minute. Ocel took a free kick from the left of the Owl 18-yard box, and it traveled low through the mass of players before curling into the net. For Ocel, it was his first collegiate goal after missing his rookie campaign with an injury. The Judges keep the home team at bay for the final 10 minutes, finishing with a 14-6 edge in shots, to complete the win. Senior Joe Graffy (Concord, N.H./Concord) made three saves and came off his line aggressively to intercept several crosses.
In the Judges' opener against Hobart, Brandeis scored five times in the final 30 minutes to earn the blowout. After outshooting the Statesmen, 12-2, in the first 45 minutes with nothing to show, the first two attempts were also for naught before Soboff scored in the 61st minute. Four-and-a-half minutes later, the Judges' leading scorer from 2013, senior Tyler Savonen (Orleans, Mass./Nauset Regional) scored his first of the season on a feed from Ocel. It was the 27th goal of Savonen's career, moving him into a tie for 11th on the Judges' career scoring list and into 15th with 68 career points.
Soboff added his second goal of the game in the 75th minute for the first multi-goal game of his career. The Judges' final two goals came from newcomers, as Patrick Flahive (Glenwood, Ill./Worcester Acad.) scored in the 78th minute and Marcello Brociner (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) tallied just eight seconds before time ran out. Graffy made just one save for his ninth career shutout.
For their efforts, Soboff claimed tournament Most Valuable Player honors, while Graffy was the Defensive Player of the Tournament.
Brandeis is back in action on Saturday at 4 p.m. when they take on Bridgewater State University in their home opener.