WOMEN'S SOCCER: Team’s playoff run ends with a loss
The Brandeis women’s soccer team finished its season this past Sunday afternoon with a crushing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Williams College. The game was a second round matchup in the National Collegiate Athletic Association playoffs after the squad defeated the Stevens Institute of Technology in the first round of the tournament 3-1.
Judges 0, Williams 3
In their last match of the 2017 season, the Judges were met with the tough task of facing off with Williams, the No. 6 team in the country. The loss dropped the club to 12-5-4 as the season comes to a close.
The squad had some opportunities early in the contest, but failed to capitalize on any of them. The first solid chance for the team came in the ninth minute, when the ball found the feet of forward Sasha Sunday ’19. Sunday attempted a corner kick that went toward fellow forward Julia Matson ’19, who was unable to score, as her header went high above the goal. A couple minutes later, Williams got its own chance at a goal, but unlike the Judges they would not fail to convert. In the 11th minute, senior forward Natasha Albaneze took the ball after a throw in and sprinted toward the end line. Albaneze kicked the ball strong above the Judges’ goalkeeper and placed it into the top left corner of the net for the first goal of the contest.
The rest of the half remained scoreless as defense reigned on the day. Williams dominated in the half, outshooting the Judges by a dominant 14-3. The score remained at 1-0 until the 64th minute, when freshman midfielder Aspen Pierson blasted a shot from afar that Judges’ goalkeeper Frankie Pinto ’17 was able to put a hand on. The ball ricocheted to freshman forward Sydney Jones in the box, who booted it home for the 2-0 lead.
The team had a chance to chip into Williams’ lead in the 88th minute, when forward Samantha Schwartz ’18 placed a shot from the box into the far post that was deflected by the Williams goalie. Williams added a third goal after the missed attempt from the Judges in the 90th minute, when Jones scored on a rebound to complete her brace.
Overall, Williams outshot Brandeis 29-5 for the contest. In her final game, Pinto stepped up big while recording seven saves.
Judges 3, Stevens 1
On Saturday, the Judges earned their last victory of the season while defeating the No. 16 Stevens Ducks. The first half was uneventful, as both teams failed to put a point up on the board. The squad outshot the Ducks 7-4 but only placed one shot on goal. Schwartz had the closest chance for the team when she hit the crossbar in the 18th minute.
The team finally got on the scoreboard in the 51st minute when Schwartz sent a cross into the box that found Sunday, who headed into the back of the net to put the team up 1-0. The squad tacked on another goal in the 77th minute off the foot of forward Haliana Burhans ’18. Burhans passed the ball off to midfielder Sam Volpe ’19 who passed it right back to Burhans. Burhans lofted a goal past the Stevens keeper to give the team a 2-0 lead.
The Ducks closed the gap to 2-1 as they scored a goal in the 86th minute. Just over a minute later, the Judges recorded their third goal of the game as midfielder Emma Spector ’20 lifted the ball past the charging Stevens keeper and put the game out of reach.
Even though the team lost in the second round, it was the fourth straight appearance in the NCAA tournament for the squad. The Judges are losing only two seniors from the team, Schwartz and Burhans, and will look to improve on an impressive campaign in the 2018 season. With a hopefully healthy roster, the Judges will aim for a deep postseason run.