Men’s soccer dominates Brandeis, ties NYU in UAA

| Sports Editor

Junior Patrick McLean kicks the ball in a game against NYU on Sunday.

Junior Patrick McLean kicks the ball in a game against NYU on Sunday.

After another weekend of University Athletic Association play, the Washington University men’s soccer team remained one point behind conference-leader New York University and tied for second place with Emory University.

“We’re still trying to win the league, but really our goal is just to make a playoff run,” said co-captain David Klein, a senior.

The No. 10 Bears played 110 scoreless minutes to a 0-0 tie with the No. 21 Violets in their Sunday matchup.

The game saw few scoring opportunities for either team in regulation. Wash. U. held an advantage in shots and corner kicks, 11-8 and 4-1, respectively. The biggest offensive edge for the Bears came in the second overtime period when they recorded three shots without allowing the Violets any chances at the net.

“[NYU is] a big, physical team. Technically they’re just as good as us, they like to pass the ball,” freshman defender Nik Patel said. “Like us, they’re a hard-working team…They move around quite a bit, and it was almost like playing ourselves, we get a little taste of what we do to other teams.”

The shutout was the Bears’ thirteenth in the 2010 season. Their .38 goals against average is just short of the all-time school record of .35 and ranks ninth among all Division III teams.

“I felt that overall, you can’t really say one team had an advantage over the other,” Patel said. “We had a strong defense. Both ways, creating opportunities to score were tough.”

The tie came after the Bears’ third consecutive victory last Friday night against Brandeis University. After giving up an early goal to the Judges’ forward Lee Russo, the Red and Green went on a streak of strong counterattacks and continued to rack up offensive opportunities throughout the first half. According to head coach Joe Clarke, the Bears’ previous success this season allows for a calm mentality in the event of early setbacks.

“I think it’s based on the history that they’ve been winning, so they believe in themselves, they’re like ‘OK we can do this,’” Clarke said. “Success builds on success, and you gain confidence.”

With less than three minutes left in the first half, the Bears were able to capitalize on a breakaway by junior forward Dylan Roman. He maneuvered past the Judges’ defense and tied the score at one.

“This was not a 4-1 game. I think Brandeis was very good. They got the first goal and held [the lead] until Dylan [got] a goal for us right before the half, which changed everything,” Clarke said.

In less than seven minutes of play across the two halves, Wash. U. would go from down one to up two. Building on the momentum of Roman’s goal, the Bears began the second half with a whirlwind pair of goals from freshman forward Jeremy Kirkwood. The first goal was set up by a corner kick from senior midfielder Cody Costakis, whose serve found Kirkwood in front of the box, scoring on a header.

Kirkwood scored his second goal of the night 1:23 later on the ensuing possession, with an assist from junior forward Patrick McLean. McLean leads the team with 15 points on the season.

“On the second [goal], Pat made a nice run, and he drew three defenders. The ball kind of bounced out right to me, and I was able to slip by them and tuck away the one-on-one with the goalie,” Kirkwood said.

Junior Zach Hendrickson’s goal in the 75th minute put a cap on the Bears victory. It was his first score of the season.

The Bears’ matchup with the Maroons on Saturday concludes regular season and conference play. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. at Francis Field, and with a victory and an NYU loss, the Bears could claim their first UAA title since 1999.

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