WELLESLEY, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's soccer team scored three goals on one of the nation's stingiest defenses today, giving the Judges a 3-0 victory over St. Joseph's (Maine) College in the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The Judges improve to 12-5-3 on the season and reach the third round for the fifth-straight season, while Monks' most successful campaign comes to an end with a 16-2-5 mark.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After a tight first half-hour of the match, the Judges broke things open with two goals in just over four minutes.
- In the 31st minute, Brandeis opened the scoring with a terrific hustle play by senior Mike Lynch (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth). After junior Marino Espiga (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) took a through ball and shot at the near post, SJC keeper Blake Mullen made an initial diving save. Lynch charged from about 25 yards out and dove for the rebound, depositing it in the left netting for his second goal of the season, both game-winners.
- In the 35th minute, senior back Thales Brito (Malden, Mass./Malden Catholic) extended the lead when a corner kick was bandied about the box for him to finish in the left netting. It was his third tally of the season.
- The Judges owned a 2-0 lead at halftime, then extended it on their first shot of the second half, when junior Patrick Flahive (Chatham, Ill./Worcester Acad.) cut the ball in from the left flank, then hit senior Zach Vieira (Andover, Mass./Brooks School) who chipped in from middle of the box for his second goal of the tournament and third of the season in the 53rd minute.
- St Joseph's College put two of their final four shots on net, but junior netminder Ben Woodhouse (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) made a two of his three stops in the second half to register his eighth shutout of the season.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The Judges scored three goals on a team that had allowed just seven in its first 22 matches of the season and posted 16 shutouts entering today's match.
- Brandeis owned a 12-8 edge in shots, but the Monks rallied to even the tally in the second half, 4-4.
- Brandeis took six corner kicks to one for SJC, all coming in the first half.
- Mullen finished with two saves for the Monks in the losing effort.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The Judges snapped a 20-match unbeaten streak for St. Joseph's.
- Brandeis moves to 10-0 over the past five seasons on the opening weekend of the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Tournament.
- The Brandeis women also advanced to the Sweet 16 today, making the Judges one of three programs (so far) to advance both teams to the second weekend of action.
- Brandeis will take on #2-ranked Amherst College next Saturday at a site to be determined on Monday.
- Brandeis eliminated Amherst on penalty kicks in the 2014 tournament the last time the two squads met.
- It would mark the second year in a row the Judges have met the No. 2-ranked team in the Sweet 16, as the Judges dropped a match to Trinity (Texas) last year in the third round.