WALTHAM, Mass. — Brandeis senior Sam Ocel scored two first-half goals to lead the host Judges past Baruch 2-0 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. With the win, the Judges improve to 17-2-1 and advance to the second round. Baruch ends its season at 11-6-3.
In the fifth minute, Ocel’s ball was played into the goal mouth from the right side of the 18-yard box. After a deflection by a defender, it slid past diving Baruch goalkeeper Helder Correia to the foot of Ocel, who buried it at 4:13 for his 11th of the season. The goal was the eighth game-winner of the season for Ocel, the University Athletic Association (UAA) Most Valuable Player.
“Sam has been outstanding all year,” head coach Mike Coven said. “His play speaks for itself.”
Just eight minutes later, Ocel doubled the score. Senior Lee Russo sent a pass into the right side of the box. Ocel was waiting at the far post to bury his 12th of the season.
The rest of the first half was evenly contested, with shots finishing at 6-4 in favor of the Judges. In the second half, the Judges dominated possession, outshot Baruch 14-2 and controlled the midfield. Correia made several nice saves in the early going, including two on Brandeis sophomore Tyler Savonen.
“Blake has become a premier goalkeeper,” Coven said. “It’s just hard work. He sure put in his hours, and look what he’s done these past two years.”
Helder kept his side in the game with seven stops, including five in the second half.
Brandeis’ win is its first in the NCAA tournament since 1984.