ROCHESTER, N.Y. (courtesy Univ. of Rochester sports information) -- The Brandeis University men's soccer team outshot host University of Rochester, 23-9, but the Yellowjackets scored two goals in a 40-second span to hand the Judges a 2-1 University Athletic Association defeat today. With the loss, the Judges fall to 9-5-4 overall, 2-3-1 in the UAA, while UR improves to 11-5, 3-3 UAA.
In addition to their 23-9 overall shooting advantage, the Judges put 10 shots on net compared to three for the hosts. UR goalkeeper Hugh Curran made a career-high seven saves, while the 'Jackets' defense cleared two balls off the line.
The first save of the game came courtesy of UR defender Will Eisold in the 11th minute. Curran came way out of his net in an attempt to save a ball from heading over the endline but sent it back in play to Brandeis rookie Will DeKnight (Miami, Fla./MAST Academy). DeKnight settled and then fired a shot from the edge of the box towards the low left corner of the net, only to see Eisold slide in and clear the ball away at the last second.
UR's first shot of the game saw Brandeis senior keeper Greg Irwin (Passaic, N.J./Seton Hall Academy) make his lone save of the contest on Aidan Miller in the 15th minute. Miller had a hard header attempt grabbed out of the air by Irwin following Mouhammed Thiam's free kick from midfield.
Four minutes later, Brandeis took a 1-0 lead. Senior back Alex Walter (Londonderry, N.H./Lawrence Academy) scored the go-ahead goal on a tough angle header at the back post following a corner kick from classmate Dylan Hennessy (New York, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon). It was Walter's first goal of the season and Hennessy's team-leading fifth assist.
In the second half, Brandeis started quick, earning a corner in the 49th minute, with Hennessy's attempt nearly curling in at the near post, but Rochester defender Tommy Nelson jumped to clear the ball off the line, preventing a two-goal lead for the Judges.
Rochester then got on the board late in the 54th minute to even the score. Mitch Volis gained possession along the left sideline and slipped a pass into the box for Cooley. Cooley then struck a curling shot from 10 yards with his left foot, which had just enough momentum on it to sneak over the goal line and into the bottom right corner of the net.
Forty seconds later, it was 2-1 Rochester. Tony Hypsher started a UR run up the right sideline, sending a ball through the middle of the field to Lawlor. The senior chipped a shot over Irwin's head but missed the goal initially, seeing his shot rattle off the crossbar. The ball bounced right back to Lawlor who weaved around Irwin and a Judges defender and ripped a shot into the low right for what would be the deciding goal.
The second UR goal seemed to light a fire in Brandeis though, as the Judges' offense kicked into high gear, with the visitors earning five corners and six shots in the next 12 minutes.
Curran made a number of strong saves in the stretch, including a point-blank chance off the foot of rookie Elias Norris (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) in the 58th minute.
A few minutes later, sophomore Isaac Mukala (Malden, Mass./Lawrence Academy) had two solid scoring chances after just entering the game as a sub. At 62:31, Nelson made a key block of Mukala's shot from 15 yards on the right wing. On the ensuing corner kick, Mukala got a shot off at the edge of the crease on the left side but was denied by Curran in goal.
Offensively in the second half after the goals, UR had two other solid opportunities to score. In the 62nd minute Eisold headed a shot at the far post off a corner wide right. At 79:16, Colin Canning nearly scored in his second straight game, chipping a ball over Irwin towards an open net, but his shot trickled just outside the right post.
Sunday's matchup was a big one in terms of potential at-large selection into the NCAA Division III Tournament, with both teams sitting in the top-5 of their respective regional rankings. UR entered as #4 in the East, while Brandeis was #5 in the New England.
The Judges will host NYU next Saturday at 2:30 p.m. when they celebrate Senior Day. Rochester will close out their regular season at the same time at Emory University.