Waltham, Mass. - October 17, 2012 - Despite scoring the game's first goal, the Springfield College men's soccer team could not hold off 18th-ranked Brandeis as it dropped a 3-1 decision in non-conference play Wednesday evening.
With the win, Brandeis improves to 13-1-1 on the season, while the Pride sees its three-match winning streak snapped as they fall to 5-9-1.
Springfield opened the scoring in the 14th minute. The Pride caught Brandeis senior goalkeeper Blake Minchoff off his line going after a ball and were able to get numbers in the box. Junior midfielder Scott Saucier put his initial shot off the left post, but junior midfielder Danny Amato was there for the rebound into an open net. It was Amato's team-leading fourth goal of the season, while Saucier's assist was his fifth of the campaign.
The Judges equalized 20 minutes later in the 34th minute. Sophomore back Robbie Lynch lofted a ball from the defensive end into the Springfield goal box. Junior Steve Salazar was able to beat SC rookie goalkeeper Billy Schmid to the ball and knock it into a wide-open net. Salazar's second goal of the season came less than two minutes after he had taken the field as an injury replacement. The score remained tied at 1-1 the half, with the Judges holding a slim 6-5 edge in shots and a 4-0 lead in corner kicks.
The game-winning goal came just 1:58 into the second half. The play started with service by Lynch to classmate Tyler Savonen. Savonen flicked a ball with his head through to the six-yard line to senior midfielder Sam Ocel. Ocel's initial shot was saved by Schmid, but junior Kyle Feather was on the spot to blast home his fourth goal of the season. Ocel's assist on the play was his team-leading eight of the season.
The Pride increased its pressure in the final 20 minutes of play, getting off four shots in that span, but Minchoff made a couple of saves to preserve the one-goal lead. Brandeis added a late insurance goal with 22 seconds left in regulation when senior Lee Russo took advantage of a bad back-pass by the SC defense to pot his 11th goal of the season.
The Judges finished with a 13-12 edge in shots, including 8-4 in shots on goal, and a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks. Minchoff finished with three saves for the Judges, while Schmid, who made his first collegiate start, had five stops in the losing effort.
Springfield will battle with conference-for Babson on Saturday at 12:00 pm in a rematch of last season's NEWMAC Championship match.