The Brandeis University women’s soccer team lost two matches in an incredibly difficult week, during which the Judges faced reigning national champions No. 8 Washington University in St. Louis and No. 1 University of Chicago. This brings the Judges season record to 11-4-3 with one game remaining in the regular season.

Judges 0, UChicago 2 

The Judges were shut out for the second time in three days, losing their final game of the week to the undefeated UChicago Maroons. This marked the Judges’ third straight game without a win and dropped their University Athletic Association conference record to 2-3-1. The Maroons controlled the pace of play, swarming the ball when it approached midfield and keeping the Judges on the defensive for significant periods of the match. Brandeis keeper Frankie Pinto ’18 started and went the distance in her second straight game, coming away with four saves against the eighth-top-scoring offense in Division III. The Maroons scored their first goal just eight minutes and 20 seconds into the game on a goal by junior midfielder Jenna McKinney. Brandeis forward Sasha Sunday ’19 attempted to answer with a header two minutes later, but was denied by Chicago junior goalie Katie Donovan. Chicago’s second goal of the game came just three minutes into the second half, when the ball skipped through Pinto’s legs and was knocked in by the Maroons before Pinto could recover. This score would hold final. 

While this has been an undeniably difficult stretch of the schedule, injuries have also played a significant role that should be acknowledged. The team has been faced with a rash of injuries to key contributors, including midfielder Becca Buchman ’19 and defender Emily Thiem ’19, who combined for four goals before going down. The dream of a national championship remains the same though, so the team will have to find a way to right the ship as the season winds down.

Judges 0, WashU 3 

The Judges also dropped their first game of the week, losing to the reigning national champion Washington University in St. Louis Bears in a rematch of last season’s National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament semifinal game. The game began with a flurry of shots from both teams, with three from the Judges and six from the Bears in the first 20 minutes of play, including one just 34 seconds into the game from Sunday. Unfortunately for the Judges, these quick three shots would make up nearly half of their total shots for the game. Despite averaging 16.6 shots per game, the Judges got off only eight against the Bears, with three on the goal. The Bears got on the board with their first score at the 31:39 mark on a shot to the upper left of the goal. Their stifling defense made this all they would need for the victory, but the Bears added two more goals for good measure at the 77th and 79th minute marks. The Judges were unable to put together a late rally, as their final shot of the game came only ten minutes into the second half on a misfire by forward Julia Matson ’19.

The Judges continue to work around injuries to their top two keepers. Since Sierra Dana ’20 went down on Oct. 15 in the game against Emory University, the team has had four different keepers protect the goal. Graduate student and former Judges basketball player Pinto appears to have become the primary option at keeper for the team after recently being added to the roster. Pinto played the full 90 minutes against both WashU and UChicago. 

The Judges will look to get back on track in their final match of the season next Saturday.