MEDFORD – The #1 Tufts University men's soccer team earned a 2-0 victory in a physical non-conference contest with #25 Brandeis University on Saturday evening at Bello Field.
|Senior Brett Rojas fired a game-high seven shots on goal.|
The Jumbos remain undefeated and improve to 4-0-0 while the Judges fall to 3-2-1.
Tufts jumped on the attack early with numerous opportunities, but a strong Brandeis backline did not allow the chances to be converted. The best early opportunity for the Jumbos came when junior Travis Van Brewer applied pressure into the right corner of the field. The Judges attempted to clear their defensive end, but Tufts sophomore Ian Daly won the free ball. He made a pass to the middle of the field for senior Brett Rojas, but his shot went wide of the goal.
The Jumbos would find the first tally of the contest in the 23rd minute after a Van Brewer corner kick found its way into the back of the Judges' goal. They attempted to clear the ball away, but their clear was on goal. Following the own goal, a scuffle broke out between the two teams which resulted in a red card being issued to Max Breiter. This forced the Judges to play a man down for the remainder of the contest.
With numbers on their side, Tufts continued to attack and controlled most of the possession for the contest. The Jumbos had a golden opportunity to get a 1-on-1 with Greg Irwin, the Judges goalkeeper. Junior Derek Enge attempted to complete a long lead pass to classmate Max Jacobs, but the pass was broken up.
The Jumbos did extend their lead in the 57th minute as a foul on Brandeis just outside the box set up Rojas for a free kick. He put the ball towards goal, but it was blocked away and cleared. The Jumbos won possession of the free ball and found Jacobs in the middle of the field. He sent a ball out to the left sideline for senior Gavin Tasker, who served a ball into the middle of the box which found Rojas. He headed the ball into the top left corner of the goal and gave the Jumbos a 2-0 lead.
In the same minute, Jacobs found himself behind the Brandeis backline with space in front of him, but his shot sailed high.
Brandeis did earn some opportunities in the second half as a shot by Issac Mukala went high and wide after a strong drive down the left sideline. They also earned a free kick from about 30 yards out that Dylan Hennessy took. He got all of the ball and forced junior goalkeeper Will Harned to make the save.
Any attempt from Brandeis to gain momentum was suffocated by the Jumbos as they had numbers in almost every situation the rest of the contest had to offer.
Harned made one save on one shot on goal in the win. He improves to 4-0-0 on the season. His counterpart, Irwin, drops to 3-2-1 on the season after making five saves on seven shots on goal.
While the game saw five cards, four yellows and one red, the teams finished with 11 fouls each. The Jumbos earned eight corner kicks to just one for the Judges.
The Jumbos return to action on Tuesday evening when they host Wheaton College at Bello Field. Start time is scheduled for 7 pm. The Judges do not play again until next Saturday when head to Western New England University for a 2 pm start.