Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Women’s Soccer team young but ready to defend ECAC title

Published: August 29, 2008
Section: Sports

After a triumphant 2007 campaign, the Brandeis women’s soccer team is set to continue their extended streak of quality play as the 2008 season begins. Last year, the team’s fifth consecutive postseason appearance culminated in a 2-0 defeat of Keene State in the ECAC Championship game, the first such title in the history of the program. Now, the team is prepared to make a run to equal or better their 13-6-2 record from last year and improve upon their average 3-3-1 record in the always difficult UAA.

The challenge for head coach Denise Dallamora, assistant coach Kerry O’Malley, and the players of this year’s squad will be to recover from the loss of their two leading scorers, Tzlil Castel ‘08 and All-UAA selection Sarah Jasik ‘08. Fortunately, junior co-captain Melissa Gorenkoff ‘10 proved more than capable of picking up the slack with a stellar 2007. Gorenkoff scored 8 goals and added 6 assists to total 22 points, earning more than twice as many shots on goal as any other player on the team. Her hard work was rewarded with an All-UAA selection, and further growth is expected as she moves into a more prominent role in the offense.

The forward position will be strengthened by a pair of promising sophomores, Tiffany Pacheco ‘11 and Kelly Cozzens ‘11. Pacheo’s 17 points as a freshman were good for fourth on the team, and Cozzens finished sixth, specializing as a late-game player with 20 appearances despite only one start. Another sophomore, Sofia Vallone ‘11, will look to improve on a three-goal rookie year as she takes a more active role in the midfield.

Two co-captains will be expected to provide the leadership on an otherwise youthful defensive group. Abby Shields ‘10 and All-UAA honorable mention Meredith Milstein ‘09 both started all 21 games last season, providing invaluable defensive strength that the team hopes will inspire its promising young players like Taryn Martiniello ‘11 and Ruth Orbach ‘11. Martiniello and Orbach both appeared in every game as freshmen, experience that should help them play like seasoned veterans in their second year.

Goalkeeper Hilary Rosenzweig ‘10 also started every game during the championship run, compiling a superb 1.18 goals against average and a .790 save percentage while shutting out Brandeis’s opponents 7 times, including all three games of the ECAC tournament.

Despite last year’s success, the preseason UAA poll places Brandeis sixth out of eight teams, with Emory University and the University of Chicago tied for first. The Judges’ season-long attempt to defy this pessimistic outlook starts on August 30th at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before returning home on September 3rd against Gordon College.