Russo leads #23 men past Clark, 4-2

Lee Russo '13 (photo by Sportspix)
WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior Lee Russo (Westford, Mass./Westford Acad.) notched a goal and two assists in the first half today as the Brandeis University men's soccer team defeated visiting Clark University, 4-2, on Gordon Field. The 23rd-ranked Judges improve to 4-0 with their ninth-straight win dating back to last season, while the Cougars fall to 1-3 on the campaign.

Russo opened the scoring in the 12th minute, when a turnover in the defensive end was picked up by junior Kyle Feather (Pinebrook, N.J./Montville Township). Feather slotted it through to Russo, who notched his team-leading fourth goal of the season. Russo returned the favor to Feather in the 23rd minute. From the left flank, Russo read the field and crossed the ball to the far post, where Feather was waiting to one-time it home. With the assist, Russo became the 16th player in school history with 60 career points.

The Judges scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal in the 32nd minute. Russo started the play, finding fellow senior Sam Ocel (No. Attleboro, Mass./No. Attleboro) across the goal mouth. Ocel's initial shot was turned back by Clark senior netminder Ryan King (Brimfield, Mass./Tantasqua Regional), but he slammed home the rebound for his third goal of the season. Just over five minutes later, Russo earned his fourth point of the day and third assist of the season. His free kick found the head of senior back Joe Eisenbies (Hingham, Mass./Hingham), who scored his first of the season and the 11th of his career.

After Brandeis outshot Clark, 13-2, in the first half, the Cougars didn't go quietly in the second, cutting the gap to 10-6. Clark finally broke through in the 72nd minute, on a play similar to the Judges' final goal. Senior back Ethan Goldman (Newton, Mass./Newton North) put a free kick right on the head of junior forward Will Van Noppen (Providence R.I./Lasalle Acad.), who potted his second goal of the season. The goal was the first allowed by Brandeis senior Blake Minchoff (Fiskdale, Mass./Tantasqua Regional) since last October 30th, a span of eight games. Clark added a penalty kick goal in the 89th minute by junior Josh Demers (Warwick, R.I./Pilgrim) after a Cougar player was hauled down in the box.

Minchoff finished with four saves for Brandeis, while his former high school teammate King had three for Clark.

The Judges waste no time in getting back to action, as they host MIT tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. The Cougars host Colby-Sawyer College Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Photos from this match will be available on www.sportspix.biz within a couple of days.

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