Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Emory and Carnegie Mellon prove tough opponents for the Judges

Published: November 2, 2012
Section: Sports

As the Judges tied with Emory and lost to Carnegie Mellon last weekend, the women’s soccer team finds themselves with a 12-4-2 record and one match left. Although the last week contained two trying matches that set the Judges back in the standings, they still have an opportunity to enter the championship tournament and play against some of the best teams in the nation. Emory and CMU were tough matches but they were against tough opponents as well. Emory was ranked No. 1 in the National Division III polls and CMU stood at No. 21. Brandeis exceeded the expectations of many with their 0-0 draw in double overtime to the highly-ranked Emory squad. The 4-0 loss to CMU, however, was much harder to stomach for the Judges.

Both matches had similar traits, with Emory and CMU dominating the Judges in possession, scoring chances and shots. Through defense, they shut down the Judges’ offensive threats in Dara Spital ’15, Holly Szafran ’16 and Sapir Edalati ’15, causing the offense to become out of rhythm and ultimately impotent. The only difference was that the Judges played good defensive soccer against Emory and kept a clean sheet while four goals were allowed during the CMU match.

The match against Emory, played on the Judges’ home pitch, saw a hypothetical David and Goliath match up, with the undefeated 11-0-4 Emory against the 12-3-1 Brandeis. On every paper except the score sheet, Emory dominated the Judges. They outshot the Judges 22-9, with shots on goal at 5-2, respectively. Emory amassed 12 corner kicks to the measly two that the Judges received. This was a result of Emory’s dominating possession as they always had the ball near the Judges’ goal.

The first half of the Emory match was even worse for the Judges than the stats show. Not one shot was made for the Judges compared to the eight strikes for Emory. The second half showed more strength for the Brandeis attack, with Spital and Mary Shimko ’13 finding some spaces and chances around goal. Spital and Shimko would keep running the offense into overtime, keeping at least some resemblance of an aggressive goal-scoring offense on Emory’s defense.

The only positive for Brandeis lie in the defense. Until they faced the Judges, Emory had not been kept off the scoreboard the entire season. Miraculously, the Judges kept the ball out of the net for 120 minutes against a side that was skilled in keeping possession and moving the ball up to the strikers. Part of this result was due to the usual tandem of keepers Francine Kofinas ’13 and Michelle Savuto ’15.

For a team that had not been kept scoreless this season, this was an amazing feat for the Judges. Despite the draw, the match proved to be a mental win for the Brandeis defense. It was also momentous for the Judges as Emory’s clean sheet was the twelfth and record breaking clean sheet this season, showcasing the defensive acumen that the Judges have possessed this season. Ironically, however, the CMU match proved to be one of the defense’s worst matches.

The match against CMU was one to forget for the Judges. Although having a similar stat line as the match against Emory, with CMU asserting control in almost every aspect, the defense also failed the Judges, with CMU outshooting the Judges 21-6 with 10 shots on goal for CMU and only two for the Judges. The fact that it was senior night also added to the disappointment that this match caused. To make matters worse, the Judges’ performance worsened as the match went on, with CMU outshooting the Judges 16-3 in the second half. It appeared that the Judges could not regroup and fight against the adversity they faced.

Instead of going into the final match of the season with momentum, the Judges are now tumbling into their match against NYU with fading hopes for an NCAA berth.

The next match against NYU will likely be decisive in both whether or not the Judges receive an at large bid for the tournament and the seeding they receive in the tournament.