Waltham, MA -- Francesco Valagussa (Arlington, MA) and Matthew Biando (Duluth, GA) collected goals as WPI men's soccer pulled off the rare feat of remaining undefeated and picking up its first win of the season in an entertaining 3-2 victory over host Brandeis Wednesday evening in a non-conference match-up.
The Engineers, who had tied their first two matches of 2022 by identical 1-1 scores, moves to 1-0-2 on the season while Brandeis sees its overall mark leveled at 1-1-1.
The contest began with a frantic pace with the Crimson and Gray opening the scoring in the sixth minute. Aaron Vaz (Medford, MA) had a shot blocked before Valagussa netted his first goal of the season and sixth of his career at 5:59. Vaz was credited with the assist on the play.
Just over seven minutes later the guests struck again on a Judges own goal following a free kick by WPI's Luke Savoie (Mansfield, MA) that was headed in by a Brandeis in the 11th minute. The hosts pulled one back just three minutes before intermission as Isaac Mukala (Malden, MA) scored off an assist by Rainer Osselamm-Chai (Acton, MA) at 42:03 to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Biando pushed the advantage to a pair of goals again when he notched his third career goal and first of 2022 when he knocked home a pass by Savoie at 55:22.
The Judges answered back with about 15 minutes remaining on a Nico Beninda (Monroe Township, NJ) marker assisted by Sammy Guttell (Brookline, MA) at 74:53. Brandeis mustered four corner kicks the rest of the way, including the final one in the waning seconds but were denied the equalizer each time.
Roe Hendrick (Nashua, NH) earned the win in net for the Engineers, repelling three shots while his Brandeis counterpart Aiden Guthro (Newburyport, MA) made six stops for the homestanding Judges.
WPI held a 15-11 edge in shots while the hosts attempted eight of match's 10 corner kicks. Valagussa and Vaz combined for 10 of the Engineers 15 shots while four Brandeis players notched multiple bid.
WPI turns its attention to a busy weekend ahead. The Engineers head to Endicott for a noon kickoff on Saturday before traveling to Rhode Island Sunday for a 2:30pm start. Brandeis closes out a three-game homestand Saturday with a 1:30pm match versus longtime local rival Babson.
Majority of recap written by WPI student assistant Maya Vartabedian.