#17 Judges can't get past #6 CMU on Senior Day

Brandeis men's soccer seniors
Brandeis men's soccer seniors
WALTHAM, Mass. – The 17th-ranked Brandeis men got on the board first, but it was a pair of goals by Carnegie Mellon less than three minutes apart late in the first half that provided the difference today as the sixth-ranked Tartans knocked off the Judges, 2-1, in a key University Athletic Association matchup. With the loss, Brandeis falls to 15-2-1, 3-2-1 in the UAA, and the Judges are out of Association title contention. The win improves CMU to 12-2-1 overall, 4-1-1 in the UAA and sole possession of first place. The Tartans can clinch the league title with a win at home over Emory next weekend.

The teams traded trips up and down the field in the opening minutes of the game before Brandeis finally broke through. The play started with a tremendous clearance by sophomore back Robbie Lynch (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth), who sent the ball to the middle of the field. Classmate Tyler Savonen (Orleans, Mass./Nauset Regional) ran onto the ball in space, dribbled into the box and slid it under CMU junior Christopher Madden (Reiserstown, Md./Calvert Hall) into the right netting. The goal was Savonen's sixth of the season.

Much of the next 20 minutes or so was played in the midfield, with only three more shots taken before CMU scored the equalizer in the 39th minute. Junior back Cole Christensen (Castle Rock, Colo./Rock Canyon) sent a cross from the left side of the field through to senior midfielder John Crawshaw (Carnegie, Pa./Carlynton). Crawshaw played it back through the box to junior Chris Wysocki (Newtown, Pa./Germantown Acad.), who knocked it past Brandeis senior Blake Minchoff (Fiskdale, Mass./Tantasqua Regional) and into the right netting. The goal was Wysocki's third of the season.

The Tartans scored the game-winning goal just 2:17 later. Junior forward Max Tassano (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Lower Merion) notched his fourth game-winner of the season when his blast from 20 yards out went through a screen and was deflected of a couple of defenders past a diving Minchoff. It was Tassano's 11th goal of the season to lead the team and into a tie for third in the UAA. CMU took the one-goal lead into the half with a 5-4 shooting advantage.

Brandeis controlled play in the second half, outshooting the visitors by a 6-2 margin. Minchoff preserved the one-goal deficit in the 57th minute when he knocked a shot by Wysocky over the crossbar after a nice cross by Scott Gerfen (Betheda, Md./Walt Whitman). Madden's stiffest test came in the 64th minute, when he pulled a similar trick on Brandeis's Kyle Feather (Pinebrook, N.J./Montville Regional). Brandeis senior Lee Russo (Westford, Mass./Westford Acad.) had the Judges' best two attempts in the late going, but his attempt on an odd-man break in the 77th minute hit the outside right netting, while Madden came up with a save in the 89th minute to hang on for the win.

      Minchoff finished with two saves for Brandeis in his final regular-season home game, while Madden earned the win with three stops.

In addition to Minchoff and Russo, this was the final regular-season home contest for senior Joe Eisenbies (Hingham, Mass./Hingham). Another senior on the squad, midfielder Sam Ocel (No. Attleboro, Mass./No. Attleboro) is expected to return next season after a medical hardship waiver after missing his sophomore campaign to injury.

      Brandeis wraps up its regular season next weekend at rival NYU in a 1:30 contest on Saturday.

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