Men's soccer triumphs over New York, Brandeis on the road

The Carnegie Mellon men’s soccer team hit the road to New York this past weekend to play the New York University Violets and the Brandeis University Judges in a University Athletic Association (UAA) double-header. The men defeated New York 2–0 on Friday and went on to beat Brandeis 2–1 on Sunday.

Friday afternoon, the men traveled to Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y. to face the Violets. Junior Ryan Browne scored twice for the Tartans, once unassisted and again on a combination play with junior Ricky Griffin. Browne scored his first goal to crack open the game by taking a shot from just outside the box in the 37th minute of play. After halftime, Browne scored a second time after Griffin made his way down the field. Drawing the New York defense along as he made his way down the final third of the field, he slotted the ball to Browne, who was open in front of the net. Browne finished what would be his ninth goal of the season.

Senior goalkeeper Matt Bazin recorded his fifth shutout of the year and made one save in the match.

The men came out strong against the Brandeis Judges, scoring the first two goals of the game and only letting one sneak past late in the second half. Griffin scored both goals for the Tartans, increasing his season total to 14. Sophomore Max Betzig lobbed a ball to Griffin, who timed his run and flicked the ball one time over the Brandeis goalkeeper’s head. Griffin scored the second goal for the Tartans when he dribbled through two Judge defenders and forced the keeper to come off his line. Griffin skillfully slotted the ball past the diving keeper to give the Tartans a little more cushion to their lead.

Brandeis scored when Bazin came out of the net to challenge the ball, and as the Brandeis player shot, the Tartan goalkeeper managed to get a hand on the ball, which deflected into the center inside of the box. Junior defender Jon Hall cleared the ball into an oncoming Brandeis player, who blocked the clear and deflected the ball into the net.

The outcome of this weekend was significant for the men’s team, which is unsure if it has the record necessary to compete in the NCAA tournament. Finishing in one of the top spots in the UAA usually guarantees a tournament seed, and after this weekend the men are sitting tight in the number three spot.

Next week, the team faces Emory University (6–0 in UAA play), who locked up the conference title with its wins this weekend. Carnegie Mellon’s regional record may be enough to earn a seed in the NCAA tournament; and a strong showing against Emory will most likely be enough to convince even the toughest critic of the team’s merit.

“It feels good to win two hard- fought UAA games on the road,” said head coach Arron Lujan. “It gives us a lot of momentum going into what will be a difficult challenge next weekend against Emory, who is undefeated in the UAA.”

The men will face sixth-ranked Emory Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on the turf of Gesling Stadium.