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Wsoccer marches into ECACs

By Pat Garofalo

Section: Sports

November 11, 2005

As October turned into November, the leaves finally changed color, the weather went back and forth between snow and sixty degree heat, and the Brandeis Womens Soccer team approached its final regular season match looking to make up for a couple of lopsided losses suffered in the previous week. The Judges game on Saturday against New York University marked the final regular season appearance of senior co-captains Lauren Gregor and Rachel Koffman.

Brandeis and the NYU Violets both came into the game with identical 7-8-1 records, and both had equally unimpressive 1-5 standings within the University Athletic Association. The loser of this game would find itself in the dubious position of last place within the UAA, sixteen points behind conference champion University of Rochester. The winner, however, would vault into sixth place and finish with a .500 record, thereby making it eligible for selection into the ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) tournament.

In both of their previous two losses the Lady Judges started slow and fell behind early. However, this time it was Brandeis that came out hard , and the result was Gregors unassisted goal in the thirteenth minute that put the Judges up 1-0. On the play, Gregor was able to intercept an errant New York clear and take a shot from just outside the penalty area that went over the head of Violets goaltender Katie Barnes. The goal was Gregors team-leading ninth of the season, and the first score for the team in the last three games. Brandeis goalkeeper Betsey Medow 08 made a big save in the thirty-first minute and the Judges were able to take their lead into halftime.

Just eighteen seconds into the second half NYU tied the game with a goal that was strangely similar to Gregors earlier tally, as Violet midfielder Whitney Dipollina picked up a weak Brandeis clearing attempt and placed a shot over Medow and into the net.

Eight minutes later the Violets had a chance to take the lead off a corner kick, but Medow was able to make the save, thus keeping the game tied. Lisa Kaplin 07 had a great scoring opportunity for Brandeis when she broke through the NYU defense in the sixty-fourth minute, but her shot went high over the crossbar. Meredith Milstein 09 also could have put the Judges in the lead in the seventy-fifth minute, but keeper Katie Barnes made a good save to prevent the goal.

However, Barnes was not able to stop midfielder Lizzie Bremners 08 kickin the eighty-fifth minute that finally put Brandeis ahead. Lauren Gregor placed a corner kick into the penalty area that Bremner was able to direct into the right side of the goal. From then on Brandeis remained firmly in control of the game, and Lisa Kaplin and Lauren Gregor both had spectacular chances to extend the lead in the next few minutes. A shot by Gregor in the eighty-eighth minute actually eluded the NYU keeper, but was headed off the line by Violet midfielder Laura Buckley. However, Gregor was not to be denied for long, and twenty seconds after her close call, she scored her second goal of the game and tenth of the season to put the Judges ahead 3-1, a lead they would not relinquish.

With the victory, Brandeis qualified for the ECAC tournament and a first round meeting with the University of Southern Maine.

Writers correction:
Yes, in a previous article I said that the team couldnt qualify for any postseason tournament. Obviously, my math skills are less than spectacular, as I somehow came to the erroneous conclusion that Brandeis could not finish in a position that would enable their season to continue. I apologize for any confusion caused.

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