The women’s soccer team has successfully made it through its last 11 games without a loss, increasing its odds for a second National Collegiate Athletic Association playoff berth in two years. The Judges fought ferociously in a 1-1 tie against conference rival Carnegie Mellon University this past Saturday after hosting a shot clinic against Lesley College in a dominant 3-0 thrashing last Tuesday.

Judges 1, Carnegie 1

The Judges came into the game ranked No. 16 in the NCAA rankings and third in the University Athletic Association conference standings. The squad was up against a tough No. 14 Tartans team, which was placed a smidge below them in the conference listing at fourth overall. 

The Tartans got off to an aggressive start, pummelling the Judges for 13 first-half shots and wearing down the Brandeis defense. Goalie Sierra Dana ’20 was on her toes the entire half, saving the Judges time and again with eight first-half saves. 

The last five minutes of the half proved to be the most vital for the Judges. After a searing shot by a Tartans player, the Tartans were given a second chance with a clutch corner kick. Holding down the fort, the Judges were able to defend the kick and push their way back to the other side of the pitch. Midfielder Willa Molho ’21 smacked a shot on goal, which was saved by the Tartan’s goalie and careened off the field for a Brandeis corner kick. With less than a minute to go, forward Maddie Marx ’19 booted one from the corner and placed the ball into the box hoping for a volley into the goal. Midfielder Katie Hayes ’20 gathered the ball and pitched it inside to midfielder Becca Buchman ’19, who knocked in the first goal of the game and gave the Judges a 1-0 lead. 

The second half got a little testy, with the referees handing out two yellow cards to the Tartans. The Tartans, frustrated with their inability to score, continued to play aggressively and tacked on another eight shots in the second half. With less than a minute to go in the game and the Judges already tasting victory, the Tartans pushed ahead for one last go at a goal. After a tough foul by the Judges, the Tartans were set up in prime position for their first goal. At the 89-minute mark, the squad beat home a wicked dinger to the back of the Judges’ net, tying the game at one apiece. 

With two short, 10-minute overtime periods, the Judges were unable to do much. The Tartans continued to dominate the pitch with eight total shots in the two overtime periods. Unable to put the ball in the back of the net, the Tartans wasted several opportunities with four shots veering wide of the goal posts. With less than one minute to go in the second overtime, the Tartans got their mojo back, firing away on two consecutive shots on goal, both deftly blocked by Dana to save the day.  With time expiring, the Judges managed to stave off the fireworks show put on by the Tartans, but lost their chance to secure what should have been a 1-0 shutout victory. 

Overall, the Tartans dominated the box score, managing 29 overall shots and an incredible 16 shots on goal. In comparison, the Judges mustered up a mere five overall shots and five shots on goal. Dana clearly was the MVP of the game, saving a whopping 14 shots and keeping the Judges in the match for nearly two hours of play.

The Judges finished the day with a 9-1-2 record, placing one spot above the Tartans in the UAA rankings, as they continue to ward off their tough UAA opponents. 

Brandeis will look to move up in the conference rankings this weekend, facing off against UAA foes University of Rochester on Friday and Emory University on Sunday. The team will try to reach double-digits in the win column.