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Women’s soccer struggles in UAA opener

By Alex Bernstein

Section: Sports

October 7, 2011

The Brandeis women’s soccer team lost its University Athletic Association (UAA) season opener, 2-0, to the University of Rochester on Saturday, after defeating Wellesley College 2-0 last Tuesday. Brandeis started off 2-0, however, the Judges have gone through a tough stretch, losing six of their last eight games.

In the match against Wellesley, the Judges struck in the 10th minute when forward Madeline Stein ’14 gained control of a deflected corner kick. Her shot was saved by Wellesley’s goalie, but tri-captain Ali Maresca ’12 gained possession of the rebound and knocked it into the back of the net. The goal was Maresca’s second of the season and her first game-winner as a Judge.

The Judges added an insurance goal only six minutes into the second half, when tri-captain midfielder Alanna Torre ’12 scored her first goal of the season on a cross from forward Sapir Edalati ’15, who was running down the left side of the field.

The Judges went home happy, ready to take on Rochester in the conference-opener on Saturday. The first half of Saturday’s contest yielded no score, with only seven shots combined between the two teams, two of which (one for each team) were on goal. Several minutes into the second half, the Yellowjackets began getting good looks on goal. The first two shots missed—one was blocked by defensive back Jessica Schulman ’12, while goalie Francine Kofinas ’13 saved the other. In the 54th minute, however, Coleman scored the game winner on a cross from teammate Rachel Wesley.

After Rochester scored, Brandeis began to improve, taking five of the game’s next six shots. In the 66th minute, the Judges just missed an opportunity for an equalizing point. On a corner kick, Torre headed the ball just wide of the net, but the ball stayed in play and allowed forward Alec Spivack ’15 to get a foot on the rebound. Unfortunately, her shot was blocked by Rochester goalie Bridget Lang.

In the 76th minute, the Yellowjackets added an insurance goal, when Coleman assisted senior Elizabeth Martens on her fourth goal of the season.

In the 86th minute, Brandeis missed yet another opportunity when forward Hilary Andrews ’14 hit the crossbar. The rebound went to Torre, who kicked wide, allowing Rochester to keep possession to start running out the clock.

While Brandeis ended up outshooting Rochester 13-11 in the game, they could not capitalize on their opportunities, a problem for the Judges all season. Even in their victory at Wellesley, the Judges had many opportunities on which they could not capitalize. The Judges outshot Wellesley, 24-11, but were only able to put two in the net.

Goalkeeper Leah Sax ’14, emphasized that the success or failure of any team stems from the way it practices and, that in order for the Judges to start winning more, they will need to keep practicing. “In practice, we need to continue going full speed and playing as if we’re in an actual game,” she said. “If you practice hard, good things will come in games.”

Sax also noted that a successful team needs a strong leader and, while the Judges have not been winning games, Torre has done an excellent job of keeping the team going.

“Alanna is doing great as a leader and really taking charge on the field. It’s easy to get down on yourself in times like this, but she knows how to keep our spirits up. Going forward, we just need to continue staying positive, and try to come out and score goals early on, like we did at Wellesley, and build off of that.”

The Judges hope to bounce back soon. Their next match is Sunday when they travel to Case Western Reserve for a 1 p.m. UAA match.

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