Heading into their final three matches of the season, the Brandeis women’s soccer team needed a strong showing to improve their chances to qualify for the NCAA tournament. The Judges defeated then-no. 18 Emory University 1-0 on Oct. 29 and the University of Rochester 2-1 on Oct. 31 on senior day. The Judges concluded the regular season with a 2-1 victory at NYU on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Judges are 11-4-2 and 4-3 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play, good for third place. Additionally, Brandeis rose in the rankings to no. 20, according to unitedsoccercoaches.org.
Friday, Oct. 29: No. 23 Brandeis 1 – No. 18 Emory 0
Caroline Swan ’23 scored and Hannah Bassan ’25 made two saves late as the Judges held on to defeat Emory 1-0.
In the 30th minute, sophomore forward Yasla Ngoma ’24 won the ball from an Eagle defender in Emory’s defensive third. Ngoma passed it back to senior Juliette Carreiro ’22, who sent in a cross from the left side. Swan made a perfect run and tapped in Carreiro’s cross to give the Judges the lead.
Emory had several chances to score in the second half, with the Eagles’ best opportunity coming in the 83rd minute. An Emory player took a shot, following a deflected shot. Bassan dove to her left to make the save, allowing the Judges to maintain the 1-0 advantage.
Swan’s goal was the second of the season. For Carreiro her assist was her eighth of the season, putting her in a tie for the UAA lead.
Sunday, Oct. 31: No. 23 Brandeis 2 – Rochester 1
Daria Bakhtiari ’22 and Juliette Carreiro each scored as the Judges celebrated their seniors in style, defeating Rochester 2-1.
Even at 1-1 in the 64th minute, Ngoma received a pass in the Judges’ attacking third. Displaying great skill to keep the ball from rolling out of play, Ngoma dribbled back inside and sent in a cross to the far post, which Carreiro redirected into the back of the net. The Judges limited the Yellowjackets to just three shots in the final 26 minutes of play. The Yellowjackets had an attack building in the 87th minute, but junior centerback Ruby Siegel ’23 cleared the ball away.
Bakhtiari opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Sophomore forward Sydney Lenhart ’24 beat several defenders and sent in a cross from just inside the 18-yard-box. Ngoma lured in the Rochester goalkeeper and tapped in on to Bakhtiari, who scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Rochester opened the second half with renewed energy, equalizing the game at 1-1 in the 47th minute. The Yellowjackets had several breaks, including a shot deflecting off the crossbar in the 57th minute.
Carreiro’s goal was her sixth of the season. Ngoma, who also assisted Bakhtiari’s goal, picked up her fourth and fifth assists of the year. Before the match, the Judges honored the nine members of their senior class: Midfielder Kari Wismar, forward Juliette Carreiro, midfielder Lauren Mastandrea, defender Ashley Pettet, forward Makenna Hunt, midfielder Daria Bakhtiari, midfielder Sabrina Salov, defender Ali LaPioli, and team manager Beck Gold.
Saturday, Nov. 6: No. 20 Brandeis 2 – NYU 1
Sydney Lenhart and Ruby Siegel each scored as the Judges held on to win their fifth straight match.
Brandeis got on the board in the 25th minute. Caroline Swan sent in a corner. The ball bounced around in a crowd in the 6-yard-box, eventually falling to Lenhart, who blasted in her fourth goal of the season. The Judges added to their lead in the 50th minute on a corner from Lauren Mastandrea. Siegel headed in the delivery for her first goal this season and the second of her career.
After the Violets scored in the 64th minute, the Judges kept NYU at bay. The Violets tallied just three shots in the remaining 26 minutes of play. The only shot on goal in the span was a lofted ball that Bassan routinely snagged.
On Monday, Nov. 8, the NCAA released the bracket for the NCAA tournament. The Judges qualified and will take on Farmingdale State this Saturday, Nov. 13, at 1:30 p.m. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). With a win, the Judges would play the winner of MIT and Maine Maritime.