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Women’s soccer splits the weekend

By Curtis Zunyu He

Section: Sports

October 24, 2014

The women’s soccer team returned to Gordon Field Friday, Oct. 17, hosting the Carnegie Mellon Tartans in the UAA Conference. Unfortunately, the Judges were not able to stay energized through the whole game as they gave up a lethal goal to the Tartans during the last ten minutes and ended the game 0-1. The Tartans cheerfully walked out of the shadow from the recent defeat by Washington University in St. Louis, while the Judges were, for the first time of the season, mired into an upset losing streak with a record of 11-3.

The Tartans’ hunger for victory was ubiquitous on the field during the first 30 minutes as they chased after the ball, trying to overwhelm the Judges’ defense by incessant tides of attacks. Consecutive long-range shots were fired 12 minutes into the game towards the Judges’ goalie Alexis Grossman ’17. Strong pressure on the ball from the Tartans helped them snatch a few steals in the Judges’ back field and intensified the bad mood of the Judges’ fans.

However, the meticulous defense from the Judges saved the team from being totally flooded and amazingly turned the game around when Brandeis players suddenly switched on their power button around 33 minutes into the game to regain the control of the midfield. Judges’ defender Haley Schachter ’16 became the pivotal force, breaking apart the Tartans’ offense by intercepting their passes from wings to the middle. Schachter’s height also halted counterattacks from the Tartans when the Judges took over the game, when she intercepted a couple of long-range passes from the Tartans’ defenders. “We had two marks and no matter what, one of us is going to be on them. So we communicate the whole time. We just want it. Every defensive player tried their best today,” said Schachter after the game.

However, it didn’t take very long for the Tartans to shake off their fatigue in the second half, turning the second into a complete stalemate between two teams for the first 39 minutes. The Judges couldn’t find a clear path by multiple attempts through the left wing, while the Tartans offense wasn’t able to make connect their midfielders and forwards. Forward Holly Szafran ’16 again tried her best to carry the team’s offense, as the team’s leader in assists. Szafran fired two beautiful free kicks soaring to the enemy’s goal with high quality but not enough to slip past the goalkeeper. Although she almost fulfilled her mission of “taking advantages of free kicks and corner kicks,” a small loophole of the Judges’ defense was promptly spotted out with only six minutes left in the game. Carnegie Mellon’s Rebekah Walsh ’17 assisted Carson Quiros ’16, who buried the game-winning header off a corner kick. “for them to score on a bogus corner, it feels awful,” Schachter again expressed the frustration of all Judges’ players after they have fought so hard to hold off the Tartans’ offense.

The Judges faced Emory University on Sunday, Oct. 19 at home again with a huge crowd of Brandeis fans attending for this special “homecoming weekend.” For Schachter, Sunday’s game was imperative to win. “We are going to get a win. We are gonna stretch out tonight, ice and then tomorrow relax for a day and go into it with all heart on Sunday,” Schachter said in anticipation of Sunday after Friday’s game.

The Judges didn’t quite achieve that goal of a win, but settled with a tie of 1-1 to Emory in a UAA contest Sunday. Emory scored just seconds before half time, taking the lead. In a back and forth match, Brandeis didn’t score until the 85th minute. A charging Samantha Schwartz ’18 grabbed the pass from Melissa Darling ’16 in the six-yard box and chipped it in to tie the game. Brandeis went into double overtime with Emory, outshooting Emory 14-13 throughout the game, but couldn’t produce the win.

The Brandeis women’s soccer team doesn’t play again until Friday, Oct. 31, when the Judges will take the field in St. Louis against the second-ranked Washington University in a UAA contest.

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