Team looks especially sharp after eighth win
The women’s soccer team kept its season rolling in the right direction with impressive wins this week against Wellesley College on Tuesday and Case Western Reserve University on Sunday. Now with an 8-1-1 record, the Judges look to move up in the Division III rankings after starting the week ranked No. 24 by the United Soccer Coaches.
Judges 3, Case Western 0
The Judges won their first conference match of the season, shutting out Case Western in a commanding performance. As has become the norm this season, the team had its way on the offensive end, generating 20 shots to Case Western’s six. Midfielder Becca Buchman ’19 had a day to remember, scoring her first career goal at the 30:31-minute mark to get the Judges on the board first. Forward Sasha Sunday ’19 assisted on the play, which would be her first of two big assists on the day. After 30 minutes of game time without scoring from either team, Sunday chipped a pass to forward Samantha Schwartz ’18, which Schwartz knocked in for her team-leading sixth goal of the season. Only one minute and four seconds later, defender Emily Thiem ’19 scored unassisted from an estimated 30 yards out to put the Judges up 3-0, good for her second goal of the season. Case Western managed only one more shot the rest of the way, which was skillfully handled by goalkeeper Sierra Dana ’20 for only her second save of the hard-fought match.
Schwartz’s and Sunday’s big games continue this outstanding season for the veterans. Schwartz has taken on a larger offensive role following the graduation of last season’s leading scorer, forward Lea McDaniel ’17. With six goals in 10 games, Schwartz is on pace to best her career-high 11 goals last year. This has come with an all-around increase in volume for the senior, as with 46 shots already she is primed to soon surpass the 54 shots she took a year ago. Sunday, too, has stepped up in a big way this season. After coming off the bench last year, the junior has started nine of her 10 games in this campaign, and has been one of the team’s primary playmakers. Despite not recording any assists in her first two seasons, Sunday’s six assists this season leads the team and has her knocking on the door of the NCAA Division III assist leaders. Add to this her own five goals and it’s clear that she has emerged as a star on this team.
Judges 3, Wellesley 1
The Judges started their week with their seventh win of the season in a commanding performance over the Wellesley Blue. While not scoring until the 40-minute mark, the Judges overwhelmingly outshot the Blue, evenly distributing their 28 total shots over the two halves in comparison to Wellesley’s game total of five. Despite their few shots, the Blue took the game’s first lead on a goal by sophomore forward Deyanira Ibarra, and held this lead until the closing moments of the first half. Following midfielder Willa Molho’s ’21 first career assist, fellow midfielder Katie Hayes ’20 hammered in her first goal of the season. A flurry of unsuccessful shots in the beginning minutes of the second half finally was rewarded, as the Judges reclaimed the lead on a goal by forward Haliana Burhans ’18. Schwartz established a new career high with 10 shot attempts, highlighted by a 45 second stretch toward the end of the game when she got off four shots in rapid succession without scoring. Her tremendous effort was rewarded 13 minutes later when she scored on her final attempt of the game, giving Brandeis the 3-1 lead that would take them the distance and give them the win.
Next week promises a challenge for the Judges, who first play on Tuesday at Lesley University and then on Saturday against No. 13 Carnegie Mellon University in the Brandeis homecoming game. With the Judges looking up at conference foe Carnegie Mellon University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association standings, this will be a critical midseason match. Fans should look forward to an exciting showdown with national rankings on the line.