Brandeis soccer keeps on rolling
The Brandeis men's and women's teams both advanced to the round of 16 in NCAA Division III soccer tournament
After posting wins both dramatic and comfortable, the Brandeis men’s and women’s soccer teams kept their postseason hopes alive as they advanced to the Sweet 16 of their respective NCAA Division III tournaments.
The Brandeis women – ranked 23rd in Division III – advanced to the second weekend of play for the second year in a row. The Judges traveled to Trenton, New Jersey, and the campus of the College of New Jersey for their opening weekend of action. Behind a pair of goals from sophomore Hannah Maatallah, Coach Denise Dallamora’s squad got past Virginia Wesleyan College, 3-0, in their first match on Saturday.
The Judges then had to face their fifth-ranked hosts in the second round on Sunday. After falling behind the Lions midway through the first half, Brandeis junior Samantha Schwartz hit a rocket of a shot 15 yards from the goal to tie the match just 4:03 before the end of regulation. The teams were unable to score in the 20 minutes of overtime, sending the match to penalty kicks. A pair of seniors came up big in PKs, as goalkeeper Alexis Grossman saved two of TCNJ’s four shots, and Cidney Moscovitch scored the fifth shot to send the team to the next round.
With the wins, Brandeis has earned the right to host the next two rounds of the tournament. They will meet 15-seed McDaniel (Md.) College next Saturday, Nov. 19. Also meeting up on Gordon Field will be top seed William Smith and 13-seed Amherst. More details will be posted on the Brandeis athletics website when they become available.
Coach Mike Coven’s men’s team didn’t have to travel as far for their first two matches, as they made their way just down Route 16 to Babson College in Wellesley. The Judges got their dramatic win in the first round, when they met Western New England University on Saturday. Sophomore back Stephen DePietto got on the board with just over 20 minutes left in regulation, but the Golden Bears scored with 3:22 on the clock to force overtime. Just under four minutes into the extra time, senior Zach Vieira scored a golden goal on classmate Josh Ocel’s second assist of the match.
On Sunday afternoon, Brandeis met St. Joseph’s (Maine) College. The Monks boasted the second-stingiest defense in the nation, having allowed just seven goals in 19 matches prior. Senior Mike Lynch made a tremendous hustle play to break through the SJC defense 30 minutes in, charging from 25 yards out head home a rebound off a saved shot by junior Marino Espiga. Senior back Thales Brito doubled the lead just over for minutes later, and Vieira scored his second of the tournament in the second half to make it a 3-0 Brandeis win.
The Judges will travel to Western Mass. to face second-ranked Amherst College in the third round on Saturday, November 19 at a time to be determined.
Brandeis is one of five schools with both teams still surviving the first weekend of the NCAA Division III Soccer tournaments, joining Amherst, fellow University Athletic Association institution Chicago, Messiah and Trinity (Texas).