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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Spartan men’s soccer dominates fourth straight game

The Case Western Reserve University Spartans kicked off their University Athletic Association conference play against Brandeis University this past weekend. After coming off of an exhausting tie against nationally ranked No. 12 Ohio Wesleyan University, the Spartans traveled again to Brandeis and defeated the Judges in this high scoring 3-2 match to up the Spartan’s overall record to 5-2-3.

The game began with both sides presenting their offensive threats with numerous shots going high and wide until a little over a third into the period, sophomore Eric Erb was able to cross the ball to senior Jordan Fox who scored the first goal of the game off a header. Twenty minutes further into the half, Brandeis retaliated with a quick shot to tie the game 1-1.

Just as it seemed that both sides were going to enter halftime without much further action, a yellow card was issued to the Judges’ Alexander Farr with just a few minutes remaining. Spartan’s sophomore Kostis Theoharides took a late throw in and heaved the ball into the penalty box. Erb, who assisted earlier, slotted the header past the goalkeeper giving the Spartans a 2-1 halftime lead.

The second half began and the Spartans were not content with the small lead they had. As a result of a Brandeis foul, the Spartans were awarded a free kick; from 40-yards out Sam Kuehnle crossed the ball into the box to Fox who finished for the goal giving the Spartans a more comfortable lead 3-1. Fox’s brace were his second and third goal of the year, his three goals put him second on the team behind striker Vinny Bell.

Another Brandeis goal halfway into the second half challenged this Spartan lead. The Judges challenged the Case defense by outshooting them 4-1 in the remaining minutes of the second half. Big saves by both keepers resulted in no more goals, giving the Spartans the win. The loss drops Brandeis to 6-3 overall. The Spartan win against Brandeis is a boon for the team that wasn’t able to pick up a win in a single UAA fixture last year.

This game has been one of the highest scoring games for the Spartans this season. Coach Dan Palmer praises his players their performance against the strong Brandeis defense: “We have had trouble scoring goals, so to score three against a team that had previously given up only 4 in their first 8 games demonstrates that we can generate offense when we execute.”

In previous games, the upperclassmen players have dominated the field in goals, but in this game, the match saw a strong offensive presence from the sophomore class: an assist and goal by Erb and assists from Kuehnle and Theoharides. And as always, Spartan goalkeeper Ben Yabrow diffused any opposing offensive threat by making four big saves on the night.

With this win, the Spartans have momentum going into their next UAA game against New York University. Standard of the Spartan’s UAA opponents, NYU has an exceptionally strong defense, having only allowing in six goals in their ten games total, and is coming off a tie with fellow UAA rival and nationally ranked No. 8 University of Rochester. The positive tone set in the Spartans’ win over Brandeis win should carry over as they return to Case field for their conference home opener.

Palmer seems optimistic despite his stone cold demeanor, “We take each match as it comes. NYU is a very strong opponent. When we play well I always like our chances.” The Spartans take on the Saturday Oct. 9 at 1:30 p.m.

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