MEDFORD - Junior forward Joe Braun scored twice as third-ranked Tufts men's soccer coasted to a 3-1 victory over Williams College in a NESCAC match on Seniors Day at Bello Field Saturday in front of an electric crowd.
|Senior Jared Glover participated in the Jumbos 3-1 victory|
Junior midfielder Brett Rojas booted a corner kick into the middle of the field where the ball found the foot of Braun who put it into the back of the net past Williams's goaltender Aaron Schein in the 11th minute to give the Jumbos an early 1-0 lead. Tufts never looked back.
The Jumbos (12-0-2, 7-0-2 NESCAC) earned head coach Josh Shapiro his 100th career victory with today's win against Williams (8-4-2, 4-3-2 NESCAC). The ninth-year head coach now has a stellar 100-35-23 record at Tufts for a .706 winning percentage.
The Ephs collected the first shot of the game when senior midfielder Eric Hirsch had the ball on the right side and fired it at Tufts senior goalie Conner Mieth who recorded a save in the first minute of action. Rojas had a great chance in the eighth minute that Schein came out and made a play on.
The Braun goal in the 11th minute was his sixth of the season and Rojas tallied his sixth assist to give the 1-0 edge to Tufts.
The Jumbos continued to keep up their aggressive play as Braun put another quality attempt on net that was saved. Tufts junior midfielder Zach Lane had a shot off his right foot hit the crossbar off a beautiful pass from Rojas in the 14th minute. Braun came back down the field a minute later with a shot on goal that was corralled by Schein.
For the next 10 minutes, Williams did a nice job of slowing the pace down and they generated a corner kick in the 25th minute. Junior midfielder Chris Fleischer took the corner for the Ephs which found junior defenseman Liam Bardong's foot, but his shot went just right of the goal. The Ephs created their best chance of the half in the 29th minute as senior defenseman Scatt Macdonald had his shot denied by Mieth. Tufts sophomore midfielder Mati Cano registered the only other shot attempt of the half in the 36th minute.
In the first half, the Jumbos outshot the Ephs eight (four on goal) to four (two on goal). Schein led the half with three saves while Mieth recorded two. Tufts generated two corner kicks to Williams' one. Both defenses played well in the first 45 minutes of action as goals were hard to come by.
The Ephs came out pushing the ball early in the second half as freshman midfielder Justin Adams came down the left side of the field in the 49th minute and put a shot on net that was stopped by a diving Mieth to keep the score at 1-0.
Tufts countered and doubled their lead to 2-0 in the 56th minute as Rojas sent a ball down the right side of the field that junior midfielder Gavin Tasker ran onto. He made a few moves to his left and then dished it over to Braun who buried it into the top of the net. The goal was Braun's seventh of the season and Tasker collected his second assist.
In the 69th minute, Eph sophomore forward Eli Petrik had a shot attempt go right of Mieth as they looked to cut the lead in half. Tufts looked to push the ball as Cano ran down the field two minutes later and received a pass from freshman midfielder Zachary Seigelstein, but Schein made a phenomenal play on the ball to keep it out of the goal.
Cano collected a pass from junior midfielder Zach Trevorrow in the 75th minute on the right side of the field and was able to get the ball across the goal line to extend the lead to 3-0. The goal was Cano's third of the season and Trevorrow picked up his first assist this year.
Williams didn't take long to respond as three minutes later Adams booted one from the right side that got past Mieth after the Ephs were aggressive in the Jumbos end of the field. Adams recorded his second goal of the season.
Tufts controlled the majority of possession the rest of the way as the Ephs mustered only one shot in the final 12 minutes of action. The Jumbo defense wasn't giving up any looks led by senior backs Sterling Weatherbie and Jackson Najjar.
For the game, Tufts outshot Williams 13 (seven on goal) to eight (four on goal). Schein recorded a game-high five saves and Mieth stopped three shots. The brown and blue generated five corners to the Ephs' two. Braun led the game with four shots on goal. There were 20 Jumbos who participated in Saturday's contest.
Tufts will next play on Tuesday when they travel to Bowdoin for a NESCAC match at 2:30 pm which will be the final regular-season contest. Williams will next be in action on Tuesday as well for a NESCAC game when they host Middlebury at 3 pm.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello