Men’s soccer found its groove last week as they blanked both Brandeis University and Rochester Institute of Technology. The win against Brandeis helped end a two-game losing streak the Yellowjackets had incurred while on the road, improving the team’s overall record to 9-2 on the season.The Yellowjackets faced a lot of pressure throughout the first half. While both teams seemed evenly matched, the ball was concentrated slightly more on the Yellowjackets’ side of the field. The defense overcame this slight complication by limiting Brandeis’ ability to get a shot on net. “Defense was really organized,” Head Coach Chris Apple said. “We were fortunate enough when [freshman] Tommy Carlson stepped in for [freshman] Eric Meister and played great the next 75 minutes. On the whole, defense played well.” For the most part, defense restricted Brandeis to the outside of the 18-yard line, forcing shooters to take inaccurate shots on freshman goalie Jack Burgasser. Offense for the Yellowjackets also suffered against an unrelenting Brandeis defense. Yet, unlike Brandeis, the Yellowjackets were able to capitalize on the rare opportunities. The stalemate between the two teams ended midway through the first half when junior Gary Stom collected the ball from midfield and made his way towards the Brandeis goal. Utilizing his superior ball-handling skills, Stom burned through the Brandeis defensemen and made his way up to net where he drilled the ball in to give the Yellowjackets a 1-0 lead. Yet the play of the game came on the second goal which occurred 15 minutes into the second half. Senior Eric Jablonka dashed for the ball as it started to roll out of bounds for a goal kick. Jablonka, who had different plans, redirected the ball perfectly to Take Five Scholar Ben Cross who was waiting in front of the net. Cross completed the play by heading the ball in to give the Yellowjackets a 2-0 lead.The game on Tuesday against RIT marked the seventh time this season that the Yellowjackets had shutdown their opponents. Defense continued to flex its muscle by allowing RIT to take just four shots on goal the entire game. The offense took action quickly as Ben Cross received the ball from junior Nate Micklos. Cross put the ball in to give the Yellowjackets a 1-0 lead. Later in the half Micklos made his own surge on net by plunking the ball into the net to increase the Yellowjackets’ lead by two. Very early in the second half, junior Steve Maltzman scored, giving the Yellowjackets a three-goal advantage. It was Matlzman’s first goal on the season. While the Yellowjackets seem to have both components of the game – offense and defense – working, Apple cautioned that the team still has a tough road ahead.”The team is always looking to get better,” Apple said. “We want to peak in November, not October. We can improve upon our point of attack by switching fields, which was much better against RIT than Brandeis.”The Yellowjackets do in fact face a tough stretch. Six of their last seven games this season will be against teams competing in their conference division. Their next game will be at New York University on Oct. 9.Serafini can be reached at jserafini@campustimes.org.



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