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No. 22 women’s soccer improves to 10-1-1

By web

Section: News

October 12, 2012

During the women’s soccer team game last Thursday against Babson, the Judges showed a dominating performance, winning 4-1. In their second game against Case Western on Saturday, the slow play ended in a draw for both sides. The match was defined by stellar goalkeeping and an up-and-down pace that exploded into scoring chances for both sides. Overall, the Judges dominated the game in terms of possession, corners and scoring chances.

The Babson match was filled with plentiful scoring and the Judges’ consistent defense. Offensively, Melissa Darling stated, “Our forwards did a really good job that game, they did so much in terms of possession and getting the ball toward the goal.”

Main strikers Holly Szafran ’16 and Dara Spital ’15, always part of that forward presence, each added a goal to their high totals for the season, five and nine respectively. It was Sapir Edalati ’15, however, that played great soccer upfront for the Judges. She accounted for two of the goals scored and is now third in goals scored for Brandeis with four, right behind Szafran.

Szafran’s goal was an early blow to Babson, as it was scored in the fifth minute. The goal was set by Spital who, seeing Szafran move into the box, volleyed the ball right over the defenders to which Szafran, with a fine touch, headed the ball slightly over the keeper in the back of the net.

Szafran would return the favor given to her by Spital’s beautiful volley by assisting Spital’s goal in the 51st minute. The score read 3-0 Brandeis at this point but the Judges kept pressing, including the ever-aggressive Szafran. She played a cross right to Spital who one-timed it to make the score 4-0.

Edalati’s second goal was also assisted on a cross by Szafran, finding herself an important part of the offensive machine. Edalati only needed a light touch to guide Szafran’s gift across the goalline. The goal, which occurred in the 24th minute, made the score 3-0 Brandeis, a large gap to overcome, even in the 24th minute.

Edalati’s first goal was actually assisted by Spital, who, like Szafran, found herself embroiled in much of the action. She assisted the first two goals and scored the last. For Edalati’s goal, Spital had a long throw-in into the box to which Edalati positioned a carefully timed strike for her fourth of the season.

The goal scored against Brandeis was the result of a free kick from 25 yards out that was saved easily by keeper Michelle Savuto ’15, but which then bobbled during possession. The ball flew out right into the box a few yards from the goal line, and Babson quickly responded, pushing the rebound into the back of the net.

Emmy Eddy ’15 described the Judges’ performance aptly, “We played really well, we controlled the whole game, it should’ve been 4-0.”

The Judges had 26 shots with 12 on goal while Babson had 12 shots and seven on goal. The Judges also had eight corners compared to one for Babson. This dominance had a presence in the match against Case but the scoreboard was vastly different.

The match against Case that began on Saturday morning included a first half that had equal possession and scoring chances for both teams. Darling added that the first half “was really equal, there was not lot of movement, neither team was controlling.” This theme would continue into the second half.

Brandeis, however, controlled the last half of the match. The match was different in that both teams began to see more chances near the goal, especially the Judges. Spital had a high total of eight shots throughout the match, producing most of them in the second half. Szafran also had a couple, missing just one shot due to the tip of Megan Romelfanger, the Case keeper.

Romelfanger was a key reason why the Judges could not get on the scoresheet. She made nine saves against a tough Brandeis front line. Nonetheless, the Judges’ two-keeper tandem of Francine Kofinas ’13 and Michelle Savuto ’15 was the main reason that Case could not get on the scoresheet. Savuto even had a save in the 58th minute, reminiscent of Romelfanger’s, tipping the ball just over the crossbar to keep Brandeis in the clear.

Overall, the draw does not diminish the Judges’ momentum for a postseason berth; their 10-1-1 record is the best Brandeis has had since 2004. The Judges, however, have two key upcoming matches at Chicago on Friday and Washington University in St. Louis on Sunday.

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