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Women’s soccer breaks streak with 3-1 victory

By Brian Tabakin

Section: Sports

September 23, 2011

In a non-conference matchup against Gordon College on Tuesday afternoon, the Brandeis women’s soccer team snapped a four-game skid with a 3-1 victory over the Fighting Scots. The win improved the Judges to 3-4 on the season.

After a midday rainstorm, the field was extremely slick and conditions were very poor. The slippery field allowed the Judges to get on the board when, at the 3:32 mark of the first half, the ball skipped off a Gordon defender and into their own net.

Already disheartened from the self-inflicted wound, Gordon struggled for the rest of the half to maintain possession and regain momentum. Gordon managed to stop eight shots by the Judges to keep the game manageable. Brandeis entered halftime with a 1-0 advantage.

Less than two minutes into the second half, the Judges tacked on another goal. Ali Maresca ’12 headed a corner kick from Alec Spivack ’15 into the back of the net to put the Judges ahead 2-0 at the 46:46 mark. The goal was Maresca’s first of the season and third of her career while the assist was Spivack’s first collegiate point.

The lead would be further extended just under eight minutes later when back Kelly Peterson ’14 drove home an unassisted direct kick from 35 yards out to put the Judges ahead 3-0.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable lead, the Scots still battled for the rest of the game. The Scots bounced back from what had been a lackluster performance, with consistent offensive pressure in the Judges’ zone. The Scots broke up the shutout at the 64:13 mark when junior Karina Scavo drilled a low shot off an unassisted direct kick past the Brandeis defenders and keeper Francine Kofinas ’13 to trim the Judges lead to 3-1.

Gordon goalie Kari Christensen finished the contest with 12 saves against three goals, while Brandeis goalie Kofinas stopped five shots against just one goal.

Earlier in the week on Sept. 17, the Bowdoin College women’s soccer team rallied in the second half against the visiting Brandeis Judges, scoring a pair of goals to defeat the Judges 2-1.

Brandeis controlled the tempo of the game for the majority of the first half, taking seven of the game’s first eight shots. Bowdoin had an offensive charge toward the end of the first half as Bowdoin senior Ellery Gould had three fantastic shots on goal that just missesd the mark. Gould’s final shot barely missed the back of the net, hitting the post instead and sending the game into halftime in a scoreless tie.

Bowdoin came back onto the field for the second half and continued where they left off: peppering the Brandeis goalie Michelle Savuto ’15 with shots on goal. Bowdoin scored twice in a span of 9:26 to take control of the tempo of the game for good. Bowdoin junior Stacie Sammott put the Polar Bears on the board at the 59:46 mark, following through on a bouncing ball in the box. Gould gave Bowdoin a crucial insurance goal at the 69:12 mark after she finished off a fantastic centering pass from Bowdoin’s Amanda Kinneston to make it a two-goal game. The goal moved Gould within just two tallies of tying the program’s all-time scoring mark.

Brandeis cut the Bowdoin lead in half with just under seven minutes left to play. Sapir Edalati ’15 accepted a long cross-pass from Corrine Bortniker ’15 and angled the ball inside the far post at the 83:31 mark. While the goal snapped a three-game scoreless streak for the Judges, they could not cut further into their deficit. Savuto allowed two goals against four saves in 73 minutes of playing time. Kofinas replaced Savuto for the final 17 minutes of the game; Kofinas allowed no goals and had two saves in her time on the field.

Since 2005, Bowdoin has had a 4-3 advantage in the seasonal matchup between the two teams.

Even earlier in the week, on Sept. 15, the Judges fell to host Roger Williams University 2-0. The win was the first for the Hawks against the Judges since a 1-0 victory back on Oct. 27, 2008.

In what had been a common theme for the Judges, the Hawks struck first in the game when RWU’s Hannah Noel headed in a cross-pass from the left side by RWU’s Katie Fusaro in the 11th minute to put the Hawks ahead 1-0.

Throughout the first half, the Judges had numerous opportunities to tie the contest but could not convert. In the 20th minute, forward Hilary Andrews ’14 attempted a shot from the left side of the box but Andrews could not put enough angle on the shot and it deflected off the side of the goal. At the 40:47 mark, midfielder Mary Shimko ’14 let loose a precise shot up the middle, but the shot was negated by an offsides call.

Early on in the second half, the Hawks had multiple opportunities to double their lead. In the 57th minute, Noel fired a bullet off of RWU’s Alexa Maher’s corner kick; however, defender Maresca made a kick stop to prevent a sure goal. Just seconds later, Maresca stopped another attempt by RWU’s Kristen Tetreault to prevent the Hawks from widening their lead.

Effective defense from the Hawks prevented Brandeis from getting on the board in the second half. Halfway through the second half, Maher helped preserve the shutout by sliding in front of a shot by Edalati, getting enough of her foot on the ball to affect its trajectory and enable RWU goalie Stephanie Jacques to make the save. In the 71st minute, RWU’s Taryn Roussel denied Andrews who was making an attempt in the box.

In the closing seconds of the contest, RWU’s Tory Benoit tallied her third goal of the year off a cross-field pass by senior Devon Leighton to put the game on ice.

Jacques made a career-high 10 saves during the match for her second straight shutout. Brandeis goalies Kofinas and Savuto each recorded one save against one goal.

The Judges will return to action Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. when they host Wellesley College.

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