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Judges led by Spital seal 1-0 win against Smith

By Dani Chasin

Section: Sports

October 4, 2013

After suffering a 4-0 loss during the weekend against Bowdoin, the Brandeis women’s soccer team bounced back on Tuesday with a 1-0 win against Smith College. The showdown on Gordon Field against the Pioneers proved to be a tight match, but the Judges managed to sneak in a goal with forward Dara Spital ’15 leading the team.

With the victory, the Judges improved their record to 7-2, while the Pioneers lowered their record to 3-5-1. Currently ranked 3rd in the UAA behind Washington University and Carnegie Mellon, Brandeis holds a perfect home record with six straight games.

Spital, the leading scorer for the Judges so far this season with eight goals, remarked on the difficulty of getting ahead of the Pioneers and breaking the 0-0 score.
“The game was definitely a battle. They were physically all over us, but we found ways to get around them,” Spital said.

The transfer forward from Miami, Florida, admitted that it took a team effort to overcome Smith and find their openings. When asked to what she attributed Tuesday night’s win, Spital answered, “Our defense played smart out of the back, and we created chances up front.”

Even Spital’s game-winning goal came off a joint effort after she received the ball from forward Holly Szafran ’16 in minute 25. Szafran managed to intercept the ball in the middle of the turf and turned up field to find Spital with a through pass. Spital described her run to the ball as a “foot race” between her and the defender after she overlapped Szafran to the left and created an opening in the front of the goal where she ripped it with her left foot into the bottom right corner of the net.

Brandeis heavily dominated the game, keeping the play almost entirely on the Pioneers’ end in the first half and taking 23 shots throughout the game, 11 in the first and 12 in the second. Only eight of those 23 tries by Brandeis were on goal, as none of Smith’s were on frame throughout the game.

While the Judges’ goalkeeper Michelle Savuto ’15 did not see any action during the game, she achieved her sixth shutout of the season. There were a few close opportunities for the Pioneers as they intercepted the ball at times in the middle of the pitch, but they got shot down by the Brandeis defense every time. The Smith goalkeeper, on the other end, had to make seven saves for the game.

After they scored, the Judges kept up their momentum for the remainder of the match. They had a few close attempts on goal, but the 1-0 score held until the final buzzer. Though the Pioneers tried to overcome the home team, the Judges kept the ball and pace of the game in their favor for most of the time.

The Judges still took this game seriously in order to seal a win and recover from their loss last weekend. “We want to make it farther than last season, so every win is a big win for us,” Spital said.

Fresh off this win, the Judges will prepare to face some tough competition on the road, facing Case Western for a UAA matchup, and then facing Eastern Nazarene, who are currently 8-2 with their record. The Judges hope to continue their winning streak and make it back home without any disappointments.

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