Katz, Lazar, Minchoff named UAA athletes of week
Judges open with wins over Simmons in tennis, WPI in soccer
Brandeis University sophomores Alexa Katz and Marissa Lazar of the women's tennis team and junior Blake Minchoff of the men's soccer team have been selected as University Athletic Association Athletes of the Week for Sept. 19. They are the Judges' first honorees of 2011-12.
Katz and Lazar, a doubles team, lost only three games between them in Brandeis's Sept. 13 season-opening 9-0 win over Simmons College. As a doubles team, they picked up an 8-1 win at No. 3. In singles, they earned the two clinching points, with Katz earning a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 5 and Lazar taking a 6-0, 6-2 decision at No. 6. It was just Lazar's second career varsity dual match.
Brandeis's most contested match against Simmons came at first singles, where rookie Carley Cooke made her collegiate debut with a 7-6, 6-0, victory in the No. 1 spot. Cooke trailed Simmons' sophomore Margaret Teague, 5-2, in the first set before battling back to win 11 of the last 12 games of the match. Cooke took the tiebreaker in the first set by a 7-2 score. Brandeis sophomore Roberta Bergstein also edged her opponent, Simmons sophomore Allison Bodek, 6-4, 7-5, at third singles.
Minchoff, a goalkeeper, was selected as the UAA Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. He made five saves for his third shutout of the season in a 5-0 win over previously undefeated WPI on Sept. 15 in Brandeis's only game of the week. Four of his first five saves came in the first half as the Judges took a 1-0 lead. They went on to score four times in the second half to pull away.
Brandeis has since gone on to defeat MIT, 2-0, on Sept. 19, in the second-most-frequently played rivalry in program history. In that game, Judge junior forward Lee Russo scored both goals. He took a terrific cross from classmate Sam Ocel in the 18th minute with a header and added his third goal of the season with just 1.7 seconds left in regulation. Minchoff made four saves, including two fantastic point-blank stops in the 57th minute to preserve the shutout.
Overall this season, Minchoff has allowed just one goal and made 19 saves in five games, giving him Association-leading marks of a 0.20 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage. In the most recent NCAA Division III statistical report, which included the first four games of the season, Minchoff ranked 10th among all Division III net-minders in both categories, while Brandeis's team goal-against average (0.25) and goals per game (3.75) were both seventh in the nation. The Judges boast a 4-1 record and have outscored their opponents 17-1.