The women’s soccer team had some tough luck against Emory University after winning its first game of the week against the University of Rochester.  The Judges defeated their University Athletic Association foe this past Friday, downing Rochester in shutout fashion 1-0.  However, an injury-plagued game against Emory on Sunday led to a 3-0 defeat, which snapped the squad’s 12-match unbeaten streak.

Judges 0, Emory 3

Brandeis’ match on Sunday against Emory all came down to defense.  The team has been in extremely capable hands so far this season thanks to goalie Sierra Dana ’20.  The superstar goalie picked up UAA Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week honors for her outstanding play against Lesley University and Carnegie Mellon University last week.  While Dana absolutely deserved the recognition this week, she has been putting up incredible numbers all year long.  The goalie has 50 saves on the year through 14 games played, while only allowing 10 goals for a remarkable .833 save percentage.  Furthermore, Dana has 10 wins on the year, including six shutouts.

Dana had some big shoes to fill this season after goalie and team captain Alexis Grossman ’17 graduated in the spring.  Grossman logged over 2,100 minutes last season, recording 82 saves with only 16 goals allowed for a .837 save percentage.  The senior picked up 16 wins on the year and had 10 shutouts for the campaign.  Dana has appeared completely unfazed by having to replace Grossman this year.  Her talent is undeniable and her performances have shown just how clutch she can be for this team.  With Dana protecting the net, as just a sophomore, the Judges will be in excellent shape for years to come. 

However, against Emory, Dana was injured in a collision near the end of the first half.  Despite returning, she had to be removed less than two minutes into the second half.  Dana recorded six saves while she was in, keeping the game scoreless.  Since the only other goalie on the roster, Victoria Richardson ’20, was also injured, the team had to turn to forward Minjee Lee ’19 to take over in an emergency role. Unfortunately for the Judges, Emory was able to take advantage of the team’s difficult situation, scoring in the 54th, 61st and 82nd minutes to defeat Brandeis 3-0.  Lee was able to record three saves for the team during her time in goal.

Judges 1, Rochester 0

Brandeis handed Rochester its fifth loss of the season and third straight conference loss on Friday with an impressive 1-0 shutout.  The victory was the team’s 10th of the strong season.

Midfielder Katie Hayes ’20 scored the match’s only goal five minutes into the second half off a beautiful assist from forward Sasha Sunday ’19.  The goal was Hayes’ second of the season, while the assist was Sunday’s eighth.  Sunday has had an outstanding season thus far, as her eight assists are good for second-most in the entire conference.  Dana only had to defend one shot on goal for the match, a long ball from the left wing that the skilled goalie caught just under the crossbar.

Brandeis now sits at third place in the conference with a 2-1-1 record in UAA play behind University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis.  With an overall record of 10-2-2 and just five matches left in the regular season, though, the Judges’ playoff hopes are still very much alive.  After last year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association Final Four appearance, expectations are high for this team.  If Dana can remain healthy, and if the offense continues to power the squad past its opponents, fans have every reason to be optimistic as the 2017 postseason rolls around.