Brandeis’ Mike Coven Announces Retirement After 44 Seasons With The Judges

Brandeis men's soccer coach Mike Coven announced his retirement on Friday, December 9th following 44 years on the sidelines with the Judges. (PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Mark Vieira)

Brandeis men’s soccer coach Mike Coven announced his retirement on Friday, December 9th following 44 years on the sidelines with the Judges. (PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Mark Vieira)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11

It was announced yesterday that Brandeis University men’s soccer coach Mike Coven would be retiring from the sidelines, effectively Saturday, December 31, 2016.

Coven, who coached the Judges for 44 seasons, concludes his career ranked sixth all-time in Division III men’s soccer coaching with 526 wins.

His 526 victories rank him 10th among all NCAA soccer coaches regardless of division, according to the athletic department’s release.

Over the past 44 seasons, Coven guided the Judges to 14 NCAA Tournaments, including a quartet of final four appearances and one national championship in 1976. Additionally, Coven led Brandeis to four Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships (1994, 2006, 2010 and 2011), while earning a trio of University Athletic Association (UAA) Coach of the Year Awards.

“Brandeis has been a special place for me,” Coven said in the athletic department’s release. “The support I’ve seen over the years – from the administrators, from alumni and from the student-body – has made this place into a real soccer school. I will miss it tremendously.”

This past season, Coven navigated the Judges to a 13-6-4 overall record, along with the program’s fourth appearance in the final four – their first since 1984. Brandeis edged last year’s champion, Amherst, in the round of 16 (won in PK’s) before defeating Rutgers-Newark the following day (4-2) en route to the national semifinals.

Brandeis’ run toward the program’s second national crown came up short against Calvin last Friday, December 2 as the Knights defeated the Judges, 1-0.

“We had fans out there: alumni, the student body, the vice president of the University, all sorts of administrators, and we had tremendous support,” Coven said following his team’s one-goal deficit in the national semifinals. “Vocal, and great. And it’s not just this year. I’ve been very fortunate to work at a school … where soccer has been a main priority.”

NCAA Tournament: Field Hockey, Soccer & Volleyball Notebook

By Matt Noonan 

A variety of local teams competed this past weekend in various NCAA tournaments and below is a few notes from each bracket.

Field Hockey

* Both Boston College and Massachusetts saw their run toward a national championship conclude. UMass fell to Duke in the second round, 4-1, while UConn edged BC in the first round, 2-1.

The Huskies (UConn), who went onto defeat Michigan State in the second round, are the only New England squad in the Division 1 semifinals. They’ll take on North Carolina on Friday, November 22 with the winner advancing to Sunday’s championship against Duke or Maryland.

* In Division 2, Merrimack earned a spot in the semifinals by defeating Stonehill, 4-3. With the win, the Warriors will face LIU Post, the Northeast-10 champions, in the semifinals on Friday. The winner will advance to Sunday’s championship match against either Millersville or Shippensburg.

* In Division 3, Wellesley College saw its run toward the semifinals end as Salisbury defeated the Blue, 4-1. Wellesley, which secured a spot in the second round, defeated Ursinus College on Saturday, 3-0.

Bowdoin College is the only New England school in the semifinals. The Polar Bears, who take on Christopher Newport University this weekend, earned a semifinal spot by defeating SUNY New Paltz and Montclair State. If Bowdoin wins on Friday, they’ll face the winner of Skidmore-Salisbury on Sunday.

Men’s Soccer

* No local Division 1 school earned a spot in this year’s tournament, but Connecticut, Quinnipiac and Providence will be representing New England. All three teams kickoff their quest for some hardware on Thursday, November 21 at 7 p.m.

* Similar to Division 1, no local Division 2 team earned a spot in this year’s tournament. However, Southern New Hampshire, a New England squad and member of the NE-10, won its second round contest against Wilmington (Del.), 3-0. Their quest toward Georgia continues on Friday when they take on LIU post for a chance to advance to Sunday’s quarterfinals.

* Finally, three Division 3 teams remain alive, as Amherst, Brandeis and Williams will continue their seasons this weekend. No times or locations have been announced for Brandeis-Williams or Amherst-St. Lawrence.

Women’s Soccer

* Four local squads earned spots in the Division 1 bracket, but only Boston College and Boston University remain. The Eagles defeated Northeastern University, 2-0, while the Terries beat Harvard University, 1-0. BU will return to the pitch on Friday when they take on Santa Clara, while BC will face Nebraska. The winners of each contest will advance to Sunday’s quarterfinals.

* American International College (AIC) will compete in the third round of the Division 2 tournament on Friday as they take on Saint Rose. The Yellow Jackets earn this particular matchup thanks to a 2-0 victory over Bridgeport in the second round. A win would guarantee AIC a spot in the quarterfinals on Sunday against California (Pa.) or Slippery Rock.

* Williams is the only Massachusetts squad remaining in the Division 3 bracket as the Ephs secured a spot in the quarterfinals by defeating Lesley and Keene State. Williams will travel to Middlebury, Vermont for their match against Johns Hopkins on Saturday, November 23. A win would extend the Ephs season to the regional finals against the winner of Middlebury-Misericordia.

Volleyball

* UMass Boston will contend for a Division 3 championship this weekend as the Beacons celebrated their New England Region victory last night against Williams. The victory marks the third time in the past four years that the Beacons have won the regional title. Next up, UMass Boston travels to Holland, Michigan to face Calvin in the quarterfinals. A win would secure the Beacons a spot in the semifinals, which will be played on Friday against the winner of Eastern-Emory.