WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's soccer team took the first step on the road to a sixth-straight Sweet 16 tonight as the Judges defeated Western Connecticut State University, 3-0, in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer tournament on their home turf of Gordon Field. The Judges – ranked No. 19 in Division III by the United Soccer Coaches and No 20 by D3soccer.com – improve to 14-4 on the season, while the Colonials finish their campaign at 14-7-1.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Judges got all the scoring they would need in the 15th minute. After senior forward Patrick Flahive (Chatham, Ill./Worcester Academy) headed a ball forward in the middle of the 18-yard box, classmate Mike Lynch (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) sent a laser inside the near post as the WCSU keeper dove to his right.
- Brandeis outshot the Colonials, 10-3, in the first half as they took the 1-0 lead into the break.
- The Judges broke things open with two goals midway through the second half.
- In the 65th minute, senior Josh Ocel (North Attleboro, Mass./Worcester Academy) stepped over a free kick near the left sideline. He served it into the box and onto the head of sophomore back Dylan Hennessy (New York, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon), who got it over the keeper to double the lead.
- In the 72nd minute, junior Andrew Allen (Norfolk, Mass./King Phillip Regional) took a great feed from rookie Noah Gans (Newton, Mass./Newton South) and slid it past the keeper into the far netting to ice the contest.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Brandeis finished with 15-9 edge in shots and 7-4 corner kick advantage.
- Senior goalkeeper Ben Woodhouse (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) made his first appearance since suffering an injury on Oct. 18th and made two saves for his 10th win and fourth shutout of the season.
- Western Conn.'s Luca DiCarlo (Waterbury, Conn./Holy Cross) made one save in the opening half but suffered the defeat.
- Senior back Shane Bierfeldt (Torrington, Conn./Torrington) twice cleared Brandeis shots off the line.
- Lynch's goal was his fifth of the season and third game-winner.
- Of Lynch's 10 career goals, four have come in the NCAA tournament.
- With his 43rd career assist, Ocel - the active career Division III leader - moves within one of Robby Muller '77 on Brandeis's career list.
- The shutout was the 20th clean sheet of Woodhouse's career.
- Brandeis will #8 Rutgers-Newark in the second round tomorrow at 7 p.m. as they look to extend their Sweet 16 streak.
- The Judges and Scarlet Raiders met last season in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament, with the Judges taking a 4-2 victory to advance to the Final Four.