Tartan soccer teams fall to Brandeis in doubleheader

Credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics Credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics Credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics Credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics

On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Carnegie Mellon University men’s and women’s soccer teams competed in a doubleheader of soccer games against Brandeis University, with the men’s team going first at 11 a.m., and the women’s team following at 1:30 p.m. Unfortunately, each team lost to Brandeis by a score of 1–0 and 2–0, respectively. Each game was a tough matchup for Tartan’s soccer, especially the women’s side, which featured a 10th ranked Brandeis team and a 12th ranked Tartan squad.

For a bright and early start, the men kicked things off quickly — a yellow card was given in the first fifteen minutes of the game to Brandeis, and another followed less than five minutes later. That was the story of the game, though. An absurd total of 11 yellow cards were handed out at random intervals throughout the game, but predominantly, in the second half. The coaches for both teams earned a yellow card, too.

As for the single goal in the game, it came with about ten minutes left in the first half, with Brandeis dribbling into open space just outside the box and letting one fly into the back of the night. Tartan goalkeeper Alec Lam made four saves in just the first half, but he couldn’t get to this one. For the rest of the game, the Tartans pushed into Brandeis territory, offering seven shots, with three on goal, to zero shots by Brandeis in the second half. Brandeis decided to slow their attack after the first goal to prevent the Tartans from mounting any meaningful attack in the second half, and it worked; no Tartan goals and only 3 saves were forced into the Brandeis keeper’s hands. The three shots on goal came from Tartan attacker Anthony Gulli, and the only other shot on goal was from the foot of Alex Dziadosz.

Overall, a lackluster performance by the Tartans in the first half only hurt them later in the game, as the Brandeis defense proved to be too much for the Tartans to handle.

Now came the women’s team, but not before the iconic Pittsburgh pop-up rainstorm forced the game back to a mid-afternoon start-time. In starkly opposing fashion, no yellow cards were handed out in the women’s game; maybe the postponement gave the teams time to be amicable towards each other. This time, the stats of the game stayed fairly consistent through the halves: the Tartans had three shots in each half to Brandeis’s five. Two saves were made by each keeper in the second half, and in the first, Tartan keeper Carolyn Botz made three saves to the Brandeis keeper’s one. However, this meant that the Brandeis team placed an unrelenting pressure on the Tartan defense, which only broke down once to allow a goal by Brandeis from 18 yards out that caromed off the post and into the net. The other Brandeis goal was a blast from 25 yards out that sailed over Botz’s head and into the top netting.

All in all, a mostly even game was played, but there were signs that Brandeis would eventually break through. They did, but only a small span of ten minutes from the 51st to the 61st minutes was the only breakdown for a solid Tartan team.

Looking ahead, the men’s soccer team has a stretch of home games through the middle of October that are must-wins in conference play. The team is 8–1–2 so far, and they have a real shot at being a dark horse contender in playoffs. The same is true of the women’s team, but they are a higher ranked team in the polls so far. Their record is 7–3–1, with their only losses coming from teams that are higher ranked than them, but a loss to New York University is going to reflect poorly in future polls. The teams face the University of Chicago next Friday, Oct. 12 in another doubleheader.