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Elenz-Martin ’10 leads men’s soccer in second-half surge

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The No. 19 men’s soccer team (8-2-1) fell behind 1-0 to Princeton (2-8-1) on Saturday going into the half, but the Bears’ determination to fight back sparked a three-goal second half – a first for Brown this season and a rarity in the game of soccer – leading to a 3-2 win.

“We were resilient, coming back from two deficits,” Head Coach Mike Noonan said. “It’s always a good sign. The team is headed in the right direction.”

Brown played a strong first half despite a goal by the Tigers’ Brandon Busch in the 36th minute.

“They had a good play,” goalkeeper Jarrett Leech ’09 said. “(Busch) finished the shot well. I wasn’t concerned being down 1-0 going into the half. I wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page in the locker room.”

In the second half, the team moved the ball well and focused on the game plan. They happened to be down, but they kept at it and had an offensive explosion against the Tigers in the second half.

The momentum shifted in favor of the Bears when Iain Eldredge ’10 scored his first collegiate goal in the first 19 seconds of the half and knotted the game at one apiece.

“It was unreal – we took the ball right off their feet, played it wide and scored,” Leech said. “They were afraid of what we could do. Everyone rallied, and we carried a lot of momentum into the rest of the game.”

Midfielder Jay Hayward ’12 tallied his first collegiate assist on the Eldredge goal in his first start as a Bear.

Busch scored again in the 53rd minute on a penalty kick. A Brown defender dragged him down on his way to the goal, and Busch was rewarded with the free-kick. He fired the shot to the left past Leech’s outstretched arms.

The Bears quickly bounced back from the 2-1 deficit in the 60th minute. Nick Elenz-Martin ’10 scored his first goal of the evening on a long throw-in from the far sideline. Hayward picked up his second assist of the night, and Rhett Bernstein ’09 tallied an assist as well.

With time winding down, and the score tied 2-2, Elenz-Martin scored the game-winner off an assist from T.J. Thompson ’10 in the 85th minute. Thompson took a shot at the goal that bounced around out in front of the net. The Tigers and Bears fought for possession, and Elenz-Martin got a foot on it and, with a quick flick, sent the Bears home with their second Ivy League win.

“I think our determination to get back in the game really was the reason why we won,” Bernstein said. “Everyone was motivated during halftime. After we scored that first goal in the opening seconds of the half, the adrenaline was flying through our bodies. It helped give us confidence for the rest of the game.”

Brown outshot Princeton 11-3 in the second half for a game total of 17-8. The Bears took two corner kicks to the Tigers’ six. Leech improved his record to 6-0-1 on the year after receiving the win in net.

The Bears will look to continue their Ivy League success as they return to action at home this Saturday to take on Harvard at 7 p.m.

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