Men's soccer battles Rochester to 1-1 draw in UAA opener

Lee Russo '13 (photo by Sportspix)
Lee Russo '13 (photo by Sportspix)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis and Rochester men's soccer teams scored goals less than five minutes apart today as the Judges and Yellowjackets battled to a 1-1 draw in the 2011 University Athletic Association opener for both teams. Both squads' record moves to 6-2-1, 0-0-1 in the UAA.


The first half was intense but ultimately scoreless. Rochester had the shooting edge, 6-3, but Brandeis junior Blake Minchoff (Fiskdale, Mass./Tantasqua Regional) made four of his saves before the break, including two in the first 10:02. The Judges had their first quality chance in the 16th minute when junior forward Sam Ocel (No. Attleboro, Mass./No. Attleboro) hit the crossbar. Minchoff added another save in the 19th minute against UR rookie forward Alex Swanger (Penfield, N.Y./Penfield), whose header following a free kick went right into the keeper's hands. The Judges had another good chance in the last 30 seconds of the half, but UR rookie back Alex Sheridan (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) check back with a nice tackle on Brandeis senior Alexander Farr (Nahant, Mass./St. Johns Prep).

Rochester opened the second half with the first two shots, both off the foot of senior midfielder Max Eberhardt (Pittsford, Mass./McQuaid Jesuit), but Minchoff stopped the first and the second went high.

The Judges finally broke the stalemate in the 51st minute. Senior forward Steve Keuchkarian (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) dribbled to the end-line, drew the goalkeeper out of his net. He fed the ball across the goalmouth, where junior forward Lee Russo (Westford, Mass./Westford Acad.) was waiting, and Russo buried the header at 50:17 for his fifth goal of the season.

The Yellowjackets responded in the 55th minute on a similar move. Senior midfielder Josh Richards (Plainsboro, N.J./West Windsor-Plainsboro) made a move to the end line, and his cross was squarely finished by Swanger. It was Swanger's second goal of the campaign.

UR kept the pressure on for the next 25 minutes or so, at one point outshooting Brandeis by a 15-5 margin. In the final 13 minutes of regulation, however, the Judges were able to answer back, earning three late corners and five of the last six shots, though none were on net.

In the extra 20 minutes, play went end-to-end, with Brandeis taking three shots to Rochester's one, but Minchoff and Rochester junior Scott Garfing (Morristown, N.J./Newark Acad.) each made a save to preserve the tie score. For the game, Minchoff finished with seven stops, while Garfing had three. The goal allowed by Minchoff was just his fourth of the season in nine contests.


Brandeis is back in action on Wednesday evening at Wheaton (Mass.) College at 7 p.m. in a non-conference tilt, while UR hosts NYU Saturday at 5 p.m. in their UAA home opener.