While we're disappointed that there are no games to recap in 2021, it gives us an opportunity to look back on some of our favorite moments of the last decade (or so)! We'll be reposting the recaps and other media right here on Fridays every week throughout the school year.
In a modified tri-meet on this weekend in 2019, the Judges faced Maine Maritime and Merrimack in Linsey Pool. Brandeis had little trouble with MMA, with the men winning, 110-78, and the women taking a 225-25 decision. Against Merrimack for the women (the Warriors do not sponsor a men's team), it came down to the last race, the 200 free relay. Though the team of Lauren Howard '22, Annie Huang '21, Audrey Kim '21 and Kylie Herman '19 finished just 0.22 seconds behind the Merrimack team for first place, it was enough to secure a 131.5-129.5 victory for the meet. Herman had two individual wins in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races, while Olivia Stebbins '22 swept the breaststroke races. Justin Weissberg '20 also won the 200- and 500-yard free races for the men.
Since 2018, the spring semester for the indoor track and field team has opened with the running of the annual Reggie Poyau '04 Memorial Invitational. Two years ago, junior Sonali Anderson '22 lowered the school record in the 60-meter hurdles for the second time in as many meets. She just missed doing so by 0.03 during the prelims, then edged out her competition from Bentley in the finals by two-thousandths of a second, 9.471 to 9.473. Anderson would eventually get the record down to 9.28 seconds at the UAA Championships later that year. The women also had wins from Emily and Julia Bryson '19, in the 3,000-meters and mile run, respectively, while classmate Doyin Ogundiran '19 took the 800-meter run. Regan Charie '19 was the lone winner for the men, taking the 60-meter dash. Both teams finished in second place.
From 2008 through 2016 (and again last year), the Brandeis women's basketball team has played an afternoon game on New Year's Eve. The 2010 edition of the game was unique in the series in that it was the first contest played by Carol Simon's squad in Shapiro Gymnasium since the opening of the Gosman Athletic Center. With Auerbach Arena closed for renovations to the track, the Judges saw out the year against Husson University for the second season in a row. Brandeis dominated the glass, 52-29, including 22-8 on the offensive boards, to take the 63-46 victory. Morgan Kendrew '12 scored 12 of her 17 points in the second half to lead all scorers, while Samantha Anderson '13 made her second career start a big one by grabbing 12 rebounds, six on the offensive end. Kendrew and Janelle Rodriguez '13 each had seven first-half points, matching the Eagles' full offensive output in the opening stanza.
With games over Christmas break a rarity, we'll fast-forward to New Year's Eve Day. Three years ago on the road, Collin Sawyer '20 demonstrated his flair for the dramatic by banking home a 3-pointer as time expired to give the men a 76-73 victory over Bates in Lewiston. Brandeis led for most of the first half and were ahead by 10 when the Bobcats started to rally. The hosts took the lead with a 19-8 run and were ahead by seven with 4:33 to go. Brandeis answered again, going up by five with less than two minutes remaining, but the Bobcats answered again. Both teams scored buckets with under 10 seconds on the clock before setting up Sawyer's heroics (video below courtesy Bates College). Lawrence Sabir '21 and Chandler Jones '21 tied for the team lead with 18 points.
In their first season under a new head coach, Jean Bain, the men's basketball team matched their win total from the previous season in just nine games thanks to a dramatic finish. The Judges led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter, but Emerson rallied to take a six-point lead into the half. Brandeis opened the second half on a 10-4 run to tie the game. The game stayed close, with Brandeis up by six with 2:46 to go, but the Lions rallied to tie it at 72 with under five seconds to go, but senior Corey Sherman '19 knocked down a long 3-pointer with 0.9 on the clock to earn the victory. Sherman finished with a team-high 21 points, while Eric D'Aguanno '20 and Chandler Jones '21 each had 14.
The women's basketball team got off to a tremendous start last season, going 10-1 in non-conference action. The highlight of the streak was this OT game against their rivals from down Route 16. Brandeis trailed Babson by seven points midway through the third quarter, but the Judges rallied to take a three-point advantage into the fourth, 57-54. The lead went back and forth in the last period of regulation, but when Jillian Petrie '21 dialed long distance with 12.4 seconds to go on the clock to make it 74-72, Brandeis looked to have the game in hand. The Beavers called the right play out of their ensuing timeout to force overtime, but Brandeis missed just three shots in the last five minutes, including going 17-of-18 from the line to fall just short of scoring 100 points in the game. It still marked the second-highest scoring contest in program history, thanks to six different players scoring in double figures, paced by Camila Casanueva '21's 19 points, 9 boards and 8 assists, and 19 points and 16 boards from Hannah Nicholson '20.
Brandeis teams don't often play over Thanksgiving weekend, but in American's bicentennial year, men's soccer had good reason to do so. The Judges were in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, for the Final Four weekend. They defeated the home-standing Blue Jays, 3-2, in overtime in the semifinals, to play in a national championship game for the first time. The Judges and Eagles went to overtime tied at 1-1, but in the extra session, Hall of Famer Cleveland Lewis '79 entered the game despite a broken nose and scored the golden-goal game-winner on a header from Michael Liechtenstein '79. The Judges have been to three more Final Fours in men's soccer, but this team, along with the 1983 men's cross country team, remain Brandeis two lone team national champions.
At the end of the 2017 Fall season, Brandeis Cross Country sent two runners to the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row. For the first time since 1995, the Judges brought home All-America honors on both the men's and women's side in the same year. The Judges battled a wind-swept course at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. In the men's race, Ryan Stender '18 had finished just two places out of All-America status the year before, coming in 37th. He left no doubt as a senior, placing 28th overall with the third-fastest 8K time of his career. Junior phenom Emily Bryson '19 would join an exclusive club in the women's race with her 20th-place finish, becoming fifth Judge and third woman to earn three career All-America honors in cross country. Bryson would go on to become the first four-time cross-country All-American a year later.
After seven-straight ECAC tournament berths, the Brandeis women's soccer team finally broke back into the NCAA tournament exactly one decade ago. The Judges were able to host a first-round regional, welcoming their first-round opponents from Castleton State as well as Williams and Lasell. It was the second NCAA berth in program history and the first since 1988. The Judges fell behind the Spartans in the 10th minute, but a pair of rookies scored goals to give the hosts the win. In the 12th minute, then-rookie (and now head coach) Mary Shimko '14 poked the ball over the line to tie the game at 1-all. Brandeis forced the CSC goalkeeper to make seven more saves in the first half before Hilary Andrews '14 converted a cross from Tiffany Pacheco '11 in the 72nd minute, allowing the home crowd to erupt. The assist from Pacheco was the 29th of her career, still an all-time record. The Judges fell to Williams in the next round, but the squad set the stage for six NCAA trips in the next eight seasons.
Two years ago, the volleyball team entered the UAA tournament in Rochester as the eighth seed. After pushing top-seeded Emory in three sets in the opening round and edging Case Western Reserve, 3-1, for their first conference tournament win since 2010, the Judges met NYU in the fifth-place match. After the Violets held Brandeis to an .063 hitting percentage in the first two sets, the Judges answered by hitting .186 the rest of the way. Brandeis won the next two sets, 25-22 and 25-21, to force a fifth set. Brandeis never trailed in the final set, winning 15-8 on a kill by then-sophomore Marissa Borgert ’21. After the fantastic finish, head coach Alesia Bennett earned her first UAA Coach of the Year honor.
In 2012, men’s soccer was coming off back-to-back ECAC titles and in search of its first NCAA tournament berth in more than two decades. The Judges stood two points behind Carnegie Mellon headed to the Big Apple for their regular-season finale. Blake Minchoff ’13 made two saves in the first half and in the 68th minute, Lee Russo ’13 found eventual UAA MVP Sam Ocel ’13 on a corner kick for the decisive goal. With a 4-2-1 record and 13 points, the Judges then paid close attention to the scoreboard to see where they would finish in the league standings. WashU could have claimed the title with a win over Chicago, but the Bears and Maroons battled to a draw. In the day’s final game, Emory at CMU, the Tartans needed just one point to win the conference outright, but Emory earned a 1-0 win to create a four-way tie at the top of the standings. Though Carnegie got the automatic bid, Brandeis’s first claim on a UAA crown helped coach Mike Coven to his first UAA Coach of the Year honor.
The first of many great races in the career of Emily Bryson '19 was run on Halloween in 2015, when Brandeis hosted the University Athletic Association Championships at Franklin Park in Boston. Her devastating kick was on display, as Bryson caught Chicago's Khia Kurtenbach down the stretch to win by 0.32 of a second. Bryson became the first and only woman to win UAA Runner and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season with the victory. She led Brandeis to a fourth-place finish after having come in eighth the year before. Bryson earned National Division III Runner of the Week honors for the victory.
The fantastic finish
Emily after the race
Another Homecoming thriller, as a pair of top-10 teams battled to overtime. The #10 Judges outshot the #7 Bears, 12-11, in regulation, with goalkeeper Alexis Grossman '17 making a diving stop at the end of regulation to preserve the tie. In the 95th minute, it was senior midfielder Alec Spivack '16, who scored her second UAA game-winning goal of the season.
With Virtual Homecoming on the horizon, we'll look back at some memorable Homecoming wins for the next few weeks! In 2017, as the sub-headline read, men's soccer cornered the market in a 2-0 win over Carnegie Mellon. The Judges scored both goals in the first half against the Tartans on corner kicks. Dylan Hennessey '20 connected with the head of classmate Alex Walter '20 in the ninth minute. In the 32nd minute, Josh Ocel '17 scored directly off the kick for his 17th career goal. All-American Ben Woodhouse '18 made the total stand up with a career-high 11 saves, 10 coming in the second half.
After several years of sending players to the quarterfinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division New England Championships under former head coach Ben Lamanna, senior Michael Arguello broke through in 2016 to make it to the championship match. Unseeded, he knocked off four seeded opponents on the way. He defeated the fifth seed in the opening round and bounced back in the second round after dropping the first set, 0-6, to reach the second day of action. His final four opponents were all 9-16 seeds. Arguello won two more three-setters on Day 2 to reach the finals, where he won eight-straight games after the first set was tied at 5-5 to advance to the finals, where his opponent went on to be the individual NCAA Champion that year.
Last season, the Judges hosted the first of three UAA Round Robins. They closed out the weekend against Rochester with a thrilling five-set match on the main court of Auerbach Arena. After dropping the first set, 12-25, Brandeis bounced back with 25-13 wins in the next two. UR responded with a 25-18 win in the fourth before the Judges won the first three points and never trailed in the fifth, 15-8. Emma Bartlett '20, Belle Scott '21 and Marissa Borgert '21 each had double-double performances to lead the home team to victory.
"We worked hard for every point today," said head coach Alesia Bennett after the match. "We've battled through some adversity in the early part of this season. I am so proud of how our team worked together to earn the win."
Want to watch the full match again? Follow this link!
After starting the season with a small meet in 2015, the cross country teams had their traditional first big race of the season two weeks later at UMass Dartmouth. Both Brandeis teams topped the field thanks to a pair of younger team members. Between the two teams, there were six top-20 finishes. Ryan Stender '18 paced the men to a 23-point win over Division II East Stroudsburg, while Emily Bryson '19 was fifth overall to lead the women to a 30-point win over ESU.
The most-played rivalry in men's soccer program history had a special flavor five years ago, as head coach Mike Coven was in search of his 500th career victory. After a scoreless regulation and first overtime session, the Judges had a set piece deep in the Babson zone with just under three minutes left on the clock. Midfielder Josh Ocel '17, the program's all-time leader in assists, put the free kick onto the head of Jake Picard '16, who scored his second-straight game-winning goal.
The 2011 season opener was memorable for the identity of the first goalscorer. The game-winner came early in the second half thanks to then-sophomore Mary Shimko '14. Who knew that, nine years later, Mary would be selected to succeed Denise Dallamora as the second head coach in program history.