Isaacson OT goal lifts women past Union, 2-1, in NCAA tournament first round
After finishing the regular season with a 13-4-2 record, Brandeis women’s soccer finished fifth in the UAA. Coach Dallamora and her squad gathered in the Napoli Room on Nov. 5 to watch the NCAA Division III tournament selection show, knowing that they were definitely on the bubble for selection. After their name was called to face 24th-ranked Union College in the first round, the Judges whooped in jubilation, but it was nothing compared to how they would feel AFTER they faced the Dutchwomen on Nov. 10.
Brandeis had come to rely on Spital for their offense, but it was two unsung players who carried the Judges to the second round. Just two-and-a-half minutes into the game, Haley Schachter ’16 - who had scored her first goal just before time expired in the Judges’ 3-0 win at NYU to end the regular season – was on the spot to knock home a rebound off the foot of Sapir Edalati ’15. Union notched the equalizer in the 26th minute, and both teams were stymied by tough defense throughout the remainder of regulation. Just under three minutes into OT, the game-winner came off the foot of Sarah Isaacson ’16. Her first career goal was reminiscent of one of Spital’s specialties, a blast from outside the 18-yard box and into the upper corner of the goal.
The Judges’ momentum carried into the next two games. They knocked off local rival Lasell, 3-0, with six different players scoring points, to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time ever. In the third round against Cortland State, it was Spital to the rescue, as she scored twice in the first half, the 13th and 14th goals of her season and the eighth game-winner in a 2-1 victory. The Judges’ season came to an end in the Elite Eight against Misericordia, 2-0, closing their season at 16-5-2, tying the school record for wins in a season. Spital, who was a first-team All-UAA selection, earned a spot as a third-team All-American by the NSCAA after tying for fourth in Division III in game-winning goals.