Women's Soccer: Women continue historic surge
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 19:10
The women’s soccer squad pelted potential goal after potential goal at Case Western Reserve University rookie goaltender Megan Romelfanger, hoping for the decisive goal that would lead to a crucial University Athletic Association victory. The Judges’ luck ran out, though, as the team failed to notch a score in a 0-0 double-overtime draw. The team, though, notched a 4-1 victory against Babson College, their cross-town rivals, in a must-win local match last Thursday.
The Judges are now 11-1-1 overall and sport a 1-0-1 in University Athletic Association matches.
Brandeis dominated possession and controlled the offensive tempo, outshooting Case 29-16, while also notching 10 corner kicks to Case’s one. Forward Dara Spital ’15 also notched a notable eight shots on goal but Romelfanger proved to be impenetrable.
Both teams fought aggressively in the midfield for possession throughout the first half, unable to gain an advantage.
As the half progressed, however, Brandeis began to mount more of an offense, earning seven shots on goal in the half. Goaltender Francine Kofinas ’13 ultimately made two saves out of the seven shots Case offered.
The second half was a different story for the Judges. Brandeis outshot Case 14-2 and took three additional corner kicks. However, in the 58th minute, Brandeis’ chances of victory were suddenly on the line.
Netminder Michelle Savuto ’15 came up with a save on a shot destined for the top left corner, keeping Brandeis in the match. Spital, in the 59th minute, had a prime scoring opportunity with a powerful strike, but Romelfanger barely got her hands on the ball, tipping the shot up to the crossbar.
Brandeis had one final opportunity in the 71st minute as midfielder Holly Szafran ’16 ripped a shot from outside the 18-yard box, but the ball rose just over the goal.
Brandeis continued to dominate the first overtime on the offensive side of the ball, doubling Case’s shot total and posing a lockdown defense. Case managed to rally in the second overtime, outshooting Brandeis 5-3 and taking command of the midfield. However, at the end of the day, neither were able to produce a goal in an eventual tie.
Coach Denise Dallamora stated that she admired the team's perseverance throughout the game and regretted that the team could not convert its efforts into a goal.
"They never quit," she said.
"I know we were the better team but did not score. I was happy with my team's work ethic and character."
The Judges, though, took care of business at home last Thursday with a crucial victory over local rival Babson – despite the tough conditions.
Szafran kicked off the scoring onslaught with a fifth-minute goal on the first shot of the game after receiving a cross from Spital. Spital did not stop there. She had yet another assist, launching a deep throw which forward Sapir Edalati ’15 fired from the 18-yard box to give Brandeis a 2-0 lead. Edalati scored her second goal of the match just 11 minutes later, notching her first collegiate multi-goal game and handing Brandeis a sizeable 3-0 lead going into the second half. The Judges dominated possession of the ball, having complete control in the midfield. Kofinas was able to notch the win without making a single save in the first half.
Brandeis continued to show its offensive prowess just five minutes into the second half with a third goal from Spital.
Babson finally scored in the 69th minute, breaking their 434-minute scoreless streak, off of a rebound shot from senior Emily Anderson and deflected free kick by Savuto.
Dallamora noted that, while Spital has been a invaluable offensive asset, the team must learn to plan an offense in light of her contributions.
"They are double teaming Dara Spital so we need to continue to work an offense around that," she said.
The Judges outshot Babson by a notable 26-14 margin while also firing off 12 shots on target, nearly equaling Babson’s total shots.
Katy Lehmann ’16 debuted in her first collegiate match in goal, notching two saves in five minutes.
Coach Dallamora figures to showcase Lehmann in a rotation for these crucial matches later in the season.
Dallamora said that her squad's strong efforts at defense will be key in future conference matches.
"My team has been playing unbelievable defense - only 3 goals in 12 games," she said.
Brandeis will take to the road, though, for two crucial UAA games. The team first travels to the University of Chicago for a game this Friday at 4 p.m. followed by a game at Washington University in St. Louis this Sunday at noon.