Women's Soccer: Team wins in crucial matches
Published: Monday, September 3, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 3, 2012 18:09
The women’s soccer team started last season 2-0 before limping to a 6-11-2 finish.
Based on their two road victories over Clark University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last weekend, it does not look like the Judges will be on a similar trajectory.
The Judges’ 5-0 romp at Clark University on Saturday represented the culmination of a 24-hour span that also included a thrilling 1-0 victory against MIT last Friday.
Goalie Michelle Savuto ’15 stated that the team has improved its chemistry and that members are working diligently toward reaching their potential this season.
“I think this year, our team chemistry is so positive and every person is taking it upon themselves to improve from last year,” said Savuto, who played the second half of both games.
“Our new saying in the locker room—‘cross the line'—is exactly the kind of mentality that will push us beyond what we were able to do last year. Basically, ‘crossing the line’ means that each of us has made a commitment to being focused and resilient when faced with big challenges. Everyone has really embraced this idea, and we are all pushing each other hard on the practice field.”
While Brandeis emerged with a 2-0 victory at home in last year’s contest against Clark, the Judges did even better this time. Center back Kelly Peterson ’14 did not take long to start the offensive onslaught, slotting home a goal in the 21st minute to give Brandeis a 1-0 advantage. Defenseman Alec Spivack ’15, after receiving a pass at midfield, dished a feed to Peterson, who then was able to slip in a goal.
Midfielder Mary Shimko ’14 notched the second goal of the contest less than five minutes later, receiving the assist from transfer forward Dara Spital ’15, who scored the winner in Friday’s contest in Cambridge. Spital then set up forward Holly Szafran ’16 for a goal in the 33rd minute.
The Judges were in the driving seat by the end of the first half, but they weren’t done yet.
It took just 42 seconds into the second half for the Judges to continue the scoring. Midfielder Sapir Edalati ’15 received a cross from Szafran to drive home yet another goal.
Shimko then polished off the Judges’ offensive success in the 49th minute. Spital was the culprit for the third time, providing the assist for Shimko’s second goal.
Savuto stated that team chemistry helped in the win against Clark.
“Our year together really showed up [Saturday agains Clark]” she sa id. “We are more able to read each others’ movements on the field and were able to connect passes all the way to the net. Each of us wants to be an impact player, so I think that having a year of experience at the college level has given us an idea of how to utilize each player's strengths."
Unlike their game against Clark, the Judges engaged in a tight match on Friday against MIT. The Judges had four shots in the first half, two of which were on goal, to the Engineers’ one.
Coach Denise Dallamora replaced Kofinas in the second half, transferring Savuto to goal. Savuto was called into action at goal quite early. The Engineers roared out of the gates in the second half, firing a shot on goal in just the 21st second. The Engineers came to life and the alarm bells were ringing for the Judges.
Spital would soon come to save the day for the Judges in her collegiate debut, scoring the only goal of the game just eight minutes later.
After bolting ahead to 20 yards before the goal, she unleashed a high, curling shot that arced past MIT goalkeeper Meghan Wright to hand the Judges a 1-0 lead which would endure.
Though the hosts cranked up the pressure, launching seven shots toward Savuto after the goal, the scoreboard stayed the same, leading to the Judges first win of the year.
Savuto noted that these two matches were exactly what the Judges needed to do to bury the ghosts of last year.
“We proved we could be beat physical teams by playing smarter," she said.
"We used time well in the game and were able to slow them down on their attacking drives. I'm confident that as we continue to play more, our game speed and cohesion will only get better.
"With that first hard-fought win under our belt, it gave us the confidence we needed to rain goals on Clark.”
The Judges will kick off their season at home tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. against Roger Williams, followed by a 12:30 p.m. Saturday matinee versus Springfield College.