KEENE, N.H. -- Senior Lee Russo (Westford, Mass./Westford Acad.) scored a goal in each half today to lead the Brandeis University men's soccer team past Ithaca College, 3-0, on the first day of action at the Xara Classic at Keene State College. It was the season opener for both squads.
Russo, who led the Judges in goals (9) and points (24) in 2011, picked up where he left off. He got the scoring started in the 31st minute when he converted a cross from sophomore midfielder Tyler Savonen (Orleans, Mass./Nauset Regional). Russo doubled the lead in the 56th minute when he punched home a rebound from senior midfielder Sam Ocel (No. Attleboro, Mass./No. Attleboro). It marks the fifth career multi-goal game for Russo, who moves into 19th place on the Judges' career scoring list with 54 points and into 17th place with 22 goals.
Brandeis tacked on an insurance goal in the 67th minute when rookie back Josh Hacunda (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) pounced on a loose ball and knocked it home for his first collegiate points.
Senior goalkeeper Blake Minchoff (Fiskdale, Mass./Tantasqua Regional) made four saves to record his first shutout of the season, his fifth in a row dating back to last season. It was the 13th shutout of his career.
For Ithaca, Tim Goldman was the only player to get off multiple shots, with two, as six other players had one each. Jordan Gentile made three saves and allowed three goals in 78-plus minutes for the Bombers before giving way to David Kaminsky for the final 11-and-change.
Brandeis will take on Keene State - 3-1 winners over Nichols - tomorrow at 2 p.m. in a showdown of two legendary coaches. Brandeis's Mike Coven is in his 40th season with the Judges, while the Owls' Rob Butcher has been at KSC even longer, helming the team for 42 seasons. Ithaca faces Nichols in the opener at noon.