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Heartbreaker defeat to CWR after victory at Babson

By Alex Bernstein

Section: Sports

October 14, 2011

Three days after defeating the seventh-ranked team in New England, the Brandeis women’s soccer team lost in a sad turn of events on Sunday, falling to 5-7. Last Thursday, the Judges defeated Babson College 2-1 in a hard-fought match in which Brandeis scored two first-half goals but, on Sunday, the Judges lost 1-0 on an 88th-minute goal scored by host Case Western Reserve University.

The Babson Beavers, who were ranked seventh in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), had won eight games in a row before the Judges defeated them on their own field. Just under a minute and a half into the game, midfielder Mimi Theodore ’12 came up with the ball on the right side of the field and nailed a shot into the back of the net from about 12 yards out. The goal was Babson senior captain Lisa Wojnar’s first allowed since Sept. 24.

Looking to add onto their fast start, the Judges scored again 15 minutes later when tri-captain Alanna Torre ’12 scored on a deflected corner kick by Alex Spivack ’15. The goal was Torre’s second of the season. Going into the half, the Judges were confident, having outshot the Beavers 10-3.

In the second half, Babson had some better chances to score. After having a shot blocked on a nice save by Brandeis goalie Michelle Savuto ’15, the Beavers capitalized in the 65th minute when junior Ashley Tourso scored her first goal of the season for Babson. Savuto made the game-saving stop in the 89th minute and the Beavers did not get another shot off for the few remaining minutes thereafter.

Trying to win a second straight game, the Judges traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, to face Case Western in their second UAA match of the season. The Spartans (9-1-2) had won two straight coming into the contest, with four of their last five matches being decided by one goal.

The Judges came out firing early on, with three shots on goal in the first 15 minutes. Forward Hilary Andrews ’14 got two looks on goal but could not get the ball through the net. Brandeis only got two more shots on goal in the remainder of the half, ending up outshooting the Spartans 5-4, but remaining without a goal.

Coming out more aggressively in the second half, the Spartans outshot the Judges 10-3. Savuto made four saves in the half but, in the 88th minute, a bit of bad luck struck when Spartan forward Laura Levey’s shot deflected off of a Judge defender and into the net. The loss was a tough one for the Judges, who are now 0-2 in the UAA.

Judge forward Maddy Stein ’14 expressed discontent with the way the Judges’ season has turned out, emphasizing the lack of shots that the team has come up with. “We’re just not taking a lot of shots, because we’re not connecting well. We haven’t been able to come up with a formation that works for us; we’re still trying to adjust.”

She noted that part of the problem is also that the Judges are trying to score by making one long pass rather than multiple short passes. “We need to play smarter, playing by feet, rather than forcing long balls forward, which we can’t finish.”

Stein did, however, seem optimistic that the Judges can continue improving and turn things around with the one month remaining in the season. “Going forward, we’re going to have to use our mistakes to get better and look at our wins and try to build on the good things we did.” She also noted that the team is a very tight-knit group. “Our team chemistry is amazing—we can criticize each other knowing that we’ll leave it all on the field. The captains, also, are really close to the entire team. They’re approachable and we can talk to them about anything.”

The Judges return to action Friday night at 6:30 p.m. when they will host UAA opponent University of Chicago.

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