MEDFORD - Junior forward Joe Braun of the Tufts University men's soccer team has been named New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Week following his performance within the Jumbos' three NESCAC home games. This is the first time the forward has earned the honor.
The Jumbo offense was led by Braun as he tallied five points on the week, two goals and one assist in the team's three hard-fought victories against Wesleyan (1-0), Amherst (2-1), and Hamilton (1-0) in front of the Jumbo faithful. The junior had either a goal or an assist in three of the brown and blue's four goals for the week.
Braun started the week off by using all of his 6'5" frame to head the game-winning goal into the back of the net against Wesleyan in the 63rd minute of action. Tufts created a corner kick opportunity and sophomore midfielder Travis Van Brewer tallied the assist on Braun's remarkable header.
The junior followed up that performance by recording an assist in the 59th minute which upped the Jumbo lead to 2-0 against Amherst. He made a beautiful touch pass to Van Brewer who put it into the left corner of the net.
Less than 24 hours later, Tufts returned to action against Hamilton. In the 88th minute, Braun booted a shot with his right foot that found the right corner of net to give the Jumbos a 1-0 lead over Hamilton. Senior back Jackson Najjar lofted a pass to the foot of Braun who broke the deadlock of a physical contest.
This has been a breakout year for Braun as prior to this season he had six combined points in his first two years. The forward now has eight points which is tied for a team-high alongside Van Brewer, who he was in sync with all week. Braun is tied for the team lead in goals with three alongside sophomore Max Jacobs.
The last member of men's soccer to win the NESCAC Player of the Week award was back Conor Coleman after Tufts' two shutouts in the 2017 NESCAC semifinal and final victories to claim their first conference championship.
Braun and the Jumbos return to action on Saturday as they travel to NESCAC opponent Middlebury for a 1:30 pm kickoff. Tufts posted a 9-0-0 record (5-0-0 NESCAC) throughout the month of September and is currently ranked third in the nation behind the leadership of head coach Josh Shapiro.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello