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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Women’s soccer ends postseason on penalty kicks

Published: November 15, 2013
Section: Sports

The women’s soccer team had an exciting couple of games this past week, but unfortunately their season ended. They finished the regular season with a 2-1 come-from-behind win on Saturday and a defeat by penalty kicks on Wednesday.

Saturday’s senior day game was against UAA opponent New York University. The Violets got off to a quick start with a 13th minute goal. The scoreboard remained quiet for the rest of the half, but defender Kelly Peterson ’14 tied the match at one in the 58th minute on a long free kick attempt. Midfielder Madeleine Stein ’14 scored the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute off of another free kick. This was Stein’s first goal of the season. Midfielder Sapir Edalati ’15 drew both fouls that led to the decisive free kicks. She also led the game with four shots.

NYU took control of the first half, outshooting the victors 5-3 and had the half’s only two corner kicks. Brandeis responded strongly in the second, outshooting the Violets 13-5 and leading overall in shots on goal 7-4. Cassie Steinberg led the game with five saves for NYU, while goalkeeper Michelle Savuto ’15 had two. Stein, Peterson and forward Cidney Moscovich ’17 each had multiple shot on goal attempts. The Violets’ lone scorer had two attempts on goal while teammate Erin Ahmed had three shots.

Savuto, the team’s regular starter, only played the second half, allowing senior Leah Sax ’14 to finish her career with a start. Prior to the game, Sax, in addition to the team’s other seniors, Stein, Mary Shimko, Peterson and Megan Kessler were honored. Shimko has been injured for the past few weeks but was able to have control of the ball at the very start of the game. The departing seniors have been a part of the program’s recent success, making the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and 2012, securing a school-high 16 wins last year as they made their way to the Elite Eight. This year they were ranked as high as eighth overall and first in New England.

NYU finished the season at 7-8-3 overall and 0-5-2 in the conference. Brandeis found out about their postseason opportunity on Monday. They earned a spot in the New England Tournament of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference. This is their 10th postseason berth in the last 11 years. The four UAA teams ahead of Brandeis all earned NCAA Tournament berths.

The second-seeded Judges played seventh-seeded Castleton State College at home in the first round of the ECAC New England Tournament on Wednesday. Brandeis has exhibited great success in this tournament, winning it in 2007 and 2008 and finishing in second in 2009. Castleton is 13-8-1. They previously won the North Atlantic Conference the prior three seasons. The teams played each other in 2009 and 2010 with Brandeis winning both.

The tournament match against Castleton was a thriller, as only one goal was scored in the first 85 minutes, but three were scored in the final five minutes of regulation. Edalati scored the first goal of the game, ninth of the season; in the 36th minute off of an assist by rookie midfielder Michaela Friedman ’17 from forward Melissa Darling ’16. This was Friedman’s first point of her career.

The Judges played strong throughout most of the rest of the game, allowing only one shot attempt in the first 35 minutes of the second half. The Spartans’ goalie Jessica Binkowski made a few saves early in the second half from a shot by forward Holly Szafran’s ’16 and soon after on a shot by Edalati. Szafran led the game with six shots. Jenna Bostwick threw the ball in the 85th minute to Mallory Costello who scored her 19th goal of the season for the equalizer. This was Bostwick’s ninth assist of the year.

Brandeis responded well in the 87th minute as Darling assisted Szafran for her fourth goal of the season. The Judges needed to stop the Castleton offense for two more minutes but they scored on a last minute shot after a corner kick by Nicole Wershoven. Dominique Valencias passed it to Bri DiPhilippo for her first career goal. Castleton was not able to muster a single shot attempt in overtime as Brandeis had seven, and the Judges were busy on offense throughout the game, attempting 36 shots allowing Binkowski to finish with 21 saves while Savuto had three.

The tenuous set of penalty kicks ended after Spartan Kelsey Lenney made the seventh round shot to push them ahead 5-4 in PKs. The teams were tied after three rounds of kicks as the Spartans would lead 3-2 after four rounds. Castleton will face third seeded Wheaton College on Saturday for the New England semifinals at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven. Brandeis finished the season at 10-6-3.