On Nov. 13, the Brandeis women’s soccer team faced off against Farmingdale State College in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division III tournament. The team was previously on a five-game winning streak, so they looked to keep up their recent success.
The Judges put the pressure on early with two quick shots from forward Yasla Ngoma ’24. However, Farmingdale State took the lead in the 11th minute and put the Judges behind. Forward Makenna Hunt ’22 tried to even the game up, but her shot ultimately went high. This was the final shot of the first half. The two teams combined for only five shots in the first half as both teams played strong defense. In the second half, the Judges knew they needed to make a comeback to keep their season alive. Within the first four minutes of the second half, the Judges took four shots. Forward Juliette Carreiro ’22 took two of those shots. However, none of these shots went in. That was until the 71st minute, where Ngoma scored an unassisted goal to tie the game at one. The Judges did not stop there as they continued to put on the pressure. At this point, Carreiro had taken four shots in the game, but none of them went into the net. That was until in the 83rd minute where a pass on a free kick from junior midfielder Caroline Swan ’23 was shot by Carreiro. This shot went into the net and gave the Judges the lead with seven minutes remaining. As the 90th minute passed, the game ended, and the Judges advanced to the second round of the NCAA division III tournament. Besides the goal in the first half, the Judges played solid defense. Goalie Hannah Bassan ’25 had two saves in the game. The Judges only allowed Farmingdale State to take only four shots in the game, compared to the Judges’ 14. This win had the Judges set to play Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) the next day in the second round.
The second-round game did not start well for the Judges. Within the first minute of the game, MIT had taken the lead. This came from a penalty kick 16 seconds into the game. MIT then kept the attack going with multiple corner kicks and shots on goal. Eventually, MIT got another goal in the seventh minute to take a 2-0 lead. The first shot from the Judges came in the 11th minute from senior midfielder Daria Bakhtiari ’22, but this shot was saved by the MIT goalie. In the first half, the Judges had a few more shots but none of them were goals. Brandeis was outshot by MIT 5-7 in the first half, but MIT led by two. The Judges were again behind going into the second half as they prepared to make another comeback. However, MIT kept attacking the Judges’ defense, with multiple shots. The Judges struggled to get anything going in the rest of the game and ultimately were unable to score in the second half. Their season ended as they lost to MIT 0-2. Bassan overall had a very strong game in goal. She had five saves in the game. MIT outshot Brandeis 12-8, which included four more shots on goal from MIT.
The Judges will retain two of their top five scorers next season, including sophomore forward Sydney Lenhart ’24 and Ngoma. They will also be holding onto Swan, who is second on their team in assists. Additionally, the team will have their goalie, Hannah Bassan, who had a 0.71 save percent for the season. The Brandeis women’s soccer team ended the season with a record of 12-5-2 as they look to improve next season.