It is tradition for the MIT women’s soccer team to open each season against Brandeis. For the past decade or so (with one exception in 2011), the Engineers have matched up with the Judges in the first game of the year.
There’s a reason for it, head coach Martin Desmarais says.
"Through the summer, it drives the players knowing we’ll play one of the best teams," Desmarais said. "We stopped scrimmaging Division 3 teams because they weren’t preparing us for the start of the season. We started scrimmaging (Division 2) NE-10 teams."
From 2012 to 2016, MIT beat Brandeis only once. In 2017, however, MIT earned a 3-2 victory over the Judges. Brandeis scored first, but the Engineers took a 2-1 lead into halftime thanks to goals from freshman defender Maya Nielan and sophomore forward Montana Reilly, while junior Hailey Nichols scored the game-winner to break a second-half tie.
The victory started arguably the best season in MIT history.