November 8, 2006

Women's soccer advances to fourth straight ECAC semifinal in overtime, 3-2, over RIC

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Rookie midfielder Melissa Gorenkoff (Woodbury, N.Y.) took the ball half the length of the field to score the game-winning goal in overtime today as the Brandeis University Judges advanced over Rhode Island College, 3-2, in the quarterfinals of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III women's soccer tournament.

Brandeis (10-5-3) fell behind early as Rhode Island College (14-8) opened the scoring in the fourth minute. Junior forward Gina Callena (Warren, R.I.) slid a nice ball through the defense to classmate Brittney Godbout (Cranston, R.I.), who tallied her ninth goal of the season just 3:18 into the contest.

Although the Judges carried play, it looked as though the lone goal might stand up. The hosts evened the score in the 79th minute, however, on an own-goal. Senior Melissa Gordon (Islip, N.Y.) challenged a ball in the crease, and while RIC sophomore goalie Krissie Pyzynski (Briston, Conn.) made the initial save, she lost her footing on the wet field and put the ball into her own net.

The Judges claimed their first lead just 36 seconds later as junior midfielder Amy King (Merrimack, N.H.) took advantage of confusion deep in the Anchorwomen's zone as slammed home a ball that had deflected off the post. It was King's second goal of the season.

RIC didn't go quietly, putting the pressure on the Brandeis defenders. Their work paid off in the 87th minute, when junior Abby Hummel (No. Kingstown, R.I.) took advantage of a Brandeis turnover. She sent the ball on net from just outside the box and again the rainy weather had an effect, as the ball slipped through the hands of Brandeis junior netminder Betsey Medow (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.). Pyzynski made a late save in regulation to force the extra session, setting up Gorenkoff's heroics.

Brandeis advances to the ECAC tournament semifinals for the fourth year in a row. The Judges will travel to Northampton, Mass., meet top-seeded Smith College in the semifinals on Saturday at noon. RIC ends its winningest season in school history.