WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's soccer team, which clinched a share of its first-ever University Athletic Association (UAA) title on Saturday afternoon, has earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time since 1985. The Judges, who finished with a record of 16-2-1, earned the right to host first- and second-round games.
Brandeis will take on Baruch College (11-5-3), champions of the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m.
Gordon Field will also play host to a first-round match-up between Tufts University (9-3-4) and Vassar College (12-4-3), who will follow at 7:30 p.m. The winners will then face off at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Tickets for the contests will be $6 for the general public and $3 for students. Admission is free with a Brandeis Student ID, though we will be encouraging Brandeis students to donate their admission fee to Hurricane Sandy relief.
For the Judges, under 40th-year head coach Mike Coven, this is the ninth appearance in the NCAA tournament, but their first since 1985. Coven led Brandeis to the 1976 NCAA Division III championship and the 1984 finals, when they finished as runners-up. The Judges finished the 2012 regular season in a four-way tie for the UAA title, along with Carnegie Mellon, Emory and Washington University. Those three teams, as well as fifth-place Rochester, all earned bids to the tournament. Brandeis went 2-1-1 against those squads, while also defeating qualifiers Babson and MIT.
The Judges boasted the top-scoring offense in the UAA, with 48 goals in 19 games. Seniors Lee Russo of Westford, Mass., and Sam Ocel of North Attleboro, Mass., were the top two scorers in the UAA with 31 and 28 points, respectively, and both are among the Judges' top 20 in career scoring. Russo finished tied for the overall lead in the UAA with 12 goals, while Ocel led all conference players with seven game-winners, including three in UAA play.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Brandeis and Baruch. The Bearcats earned their third NCAA tournament berth by rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the CUNYAC championship match to defeat Brooklyn College, 4-2. This is their first berth since 2006. Oren Kozilowski led the Bearcats in scoring this season with 13 goals and five assists for 31 points, second in the CUNYAC. As a team, the Bearcats scored 44 goals in 19 contests.
Baruch faced one other team that reached the NCAA tournament, falling to Montclair State University in their season opener. Brandeis and Baruch had one common opponent, NYU. Brandeis defeated the Violets, 1-0, in New York in their regular-season finale on Nov. 3 to clinch their UAA co-championship. The Bearcats fell to their local foes, 4-0, on Sept. 15.
Tickets for the matches will cost $6 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. Live statistics for the match will be available at http://livestats.prestosports.com/brandeisjudges, while an audio broadcast can be heard courtesy WBRS Sports, 100.1 FM and on-line at http://www.wbrs.org.
The 2012 NCAA Division III Men's Soccer programs are a digital-only publication. Check it our here.