The Brandeis women’s soccer team topped off their Senior Day celebration with a victory over its rival New York University (NYU), 1-0. Prior to the game, the Judges honored seven seniors for their incredible success on and off the field: Sierra Dana ’20, Katie Hayes ’20, Amanda Fernbach ’20, Kerin Miller ’20, Zoe Ballas ’20, Victoria Richardson ’20 and Emma Spector ’20.
With this win, the Judges finish with an 11-7 overall record, 2-5 in the University Athletic Association (UAA); the Brandeis women’s soccer team placed fifth in its conference, along with Case Western Reserve University and NYU.
The first half of the rivalry was evenly played; the Judges, though, edged out the Violets with 6-5 shots—out of those six, Brandeis put three on goal, while NYU only placed one out of their five.
It was not until the second half that the Judges gained an advantage over the Violets. In the 62nd minute of play, first-year midfielder Caroline Swan ’23 sent the ball into the box from the left flank, where Daria Bakhtiari ’21 was wide open ready to head the ball into the upper left corner of the goal. Swan racked up her fifth assist of the season, tying her for the team lead, while Bakhtiari tallied her sixth goal of the season.
In a message to The Brandeis Hoot, Dana wrote, “I think for us, NYU is always a game we have a bit of trouble preparing simply because it’s the last one of the regular season and it comes after a tough travel weekend; so, to have the team come out and perform the way they did was incredible to watch.”
The Judges remained aggressive throughout the second half, as they edged out the Violets in shots 11-6, finishing the game with 17-11 shots. Richardson recorded an impressive diving save in the 76th minute against Violet Hadley Bushala to preserve the lead. In the 87th minute, NYU prevented an insurance goal when Francesca Dimitrakis cleared the ball off the line on a corner kick.
Richardson finished the game with three saves to earn her fifth shutout of the season and her career. Opposing goalie, Meghan Marhan, made seven stops in the losing effort for NYU. This win gave Brandeis 11 wins in a season for the sixth year in a row; the Judges also improved to 16-5-4 all-time against NYU.
Dana concluded the soccer season by reflecting on the senior class’ commitment and achievement in all aspects of their lives, which their teammates will carry into their upcoming seasons.
She wrote, “I think I speak for all the seniors when I say that this particular group of girls felt special from the beginning, and seeing everyone perform and put together a complete game of soccer for our last on Gordon field, there’s not much more we could ask for. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of such an amazing team and to be asked to have a leadership role; I am excited to see what this group continues to do after our class graduates. I absolutely love this group of girls, and I think our last game of the season showcased exactly who we feel we are on and off the field.”