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Women’s soccer advances to post-season tournament

By Ariel Wittenberg

Section: Sports

November 12, 2010

The Brandeis women’s soccer team will enter post-season play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III tournament for the second time in Brandeis history following its 2-0 win at New York University Saturday.

The 25th-ranked Judges will host the first two rounds of the tournament on Gordon Field on Saturday and Sunday, playing Castleton State College in the first round on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Tickets will be $3 for students and $6 for adults.

The 2010 season has been one of the Judges’ most successful regular-season campaigns in school history at 14-4-1, 4-3 in the UAA while NYU closed its season at 7-10-2, 2-5 UAA when it fell to the Judges.

Brandeis’ win against the NYU Violets Saturday was thanks to a goal and an assist from midfielder Ellie Einhorn ’11.

The first goal of the game came after a tightly-contested first third of the game, when the Judges finally broke through in the 33rd minute. Sofia Vallone ’11 took a feed from Einhorn and then Vallone made a move to beat a defender and fired on net from 25 yards out, finding the lower-left corner. The goal was Vallone’s 17th of the season, tying the single-season record set by Melissa Delowe ’04 in 2003. Vallone is also just two points shy of Delowe’s single-season mark of 40 points, while her sixth game-winning goal of the campaign is one shy of the school mark, set by Pam Vaughan ’90 in 1988 and 1989.

After a tight first half in which Brandeis owned a 6-5 edge in shots taken, the Judges dominated the second half, 9-3. The visitors finally broke through with an insurance goal in the 69th minute. The play started off a scramble in front of the net after a corner kick. Back Ali Maresca ’12 hit the crossbar with a header, but Einhorn was there to convert the rebound for her third goal of the season.

The Brandeis defense held NYU to just three shots on goal, with Francine Kofinas ’13 making three saves for her fifth shutout of the season and the team’s 10th, one shy of a school-record set three times, most recently in 2008. The Violets’ Rachael Ross had six stops in the losing effort.

In the post-season, the Judges are lead by Vallone and Tiffany Pacheco ’11. Vallone led the UAA this season in overall goals (17), overall points (38) and goals (5) and points in conference games (10). Pacheco has nine assists this season to lead the UAA, while her 25 points are third in the UAA. She has 28 career assists, tied for Brandeis’ all-time lead, and is in fourth place on the Judges’ career list with 86.

The Judges defense is led by Taryn Martiniello ’11, Maresca, Fran Shin ’12, Ali Theodore ’12 and goalkeeper Francine Kofinas ’13.

The Brandeis defense has turned in 10 shutouts this season and has never allowed more than two goals in a game, posting a 0.62 goals-against average. Kofinas’ 45 saves in UAA games led the league, while her 83 total saves and 0.58 GAA were third.

Castleton State College posted a 16-2-1 record this season and claimed the North Athletic Conference’s automatic berth in the tournament. The Spartans have three 10-goal scorers, led by senior Courtney Chadbourne. This three-time NAC Player of the Year has 21 goals and seven assists for 49 points this season. Junior Hilary Cooke (16-4-36) and sophomore Megan Blongy (12-7-31) also earned first-team All-NAC honors, as did sophomore goalkeeper Ericka Davis (7 shutouts, 81 saves).

This will be the second-ever meeting between Brandeis and Castleton State College and second in a row in the postseason. The Judges and Spartans met in the first round of the 2009 ECAC Division III New England tournament with Brandeis taking a 3-0 victory on Gordon Field behind a pair of Pacheco goals.

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