WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University women's soccer team has earned its sixth-straight berth in the ECAC Division III New England Championship tournament. The Judges, who earned the tournament's top seed, will try to keep the ECAC title for the third year in a row. They begin their defense on Wednesday, November 11, when they take on Castleton State College at 6 p.m.
Brandeis, in its 30th season under head coach Denise Dallamora, finished the regular season with a record of 9-6-3, 3-3-1 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Judges tied for fourth place in the UAA behind three NCAA tournament teams. Brandeis was led by a pair of senior four-year starters in forward Melissa Gorenkoff (Woodbury, N.Y./Syosset) and goalkeeper Hillary Rosenzweig (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River). Gorenkoff is the Judges' career leader with 26 assists, including eight this season, tying for second in the UAA. Rosenzweig, who led the UAA with 88 saves, concluded the regular season with a school-record 36 victories and 21 shutouts. The Judges also featured two of the top 10 scorers in the UAA in sophomore midfielder Mimi Theodore (Walpole, Mass./Walpole), who was sixth with nine goals and four assists for 22 points, and junior forward Tiffany Pacheco (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional), who was seventh with seven goals and six assists for 20 points.
Castleton State, under fifth-year head coach Chris Chapdelaine, finished the regular season with a record of 11-6-2. Chapdelaine, the North Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year, guided the Spartans to a 12-match unbeaten streak and a 7-0 NAC mark before falling in the conference tournament finals to Husson College. CSC is led by junior forward Courtney Chadburn (No. Clarendon, Vt./Mill River Union), the two-time NAC Player of the Year. Chadburn had 24 goals and six assists for 54 points this season, including 12 goals and four assists in league play. She had a hand in half of her team's conference goals. Rookie goalkeeper Ericka Davis (Cambridge, Vt./Lamoille Union) led the NAC with seven shutouts and was second with a 0.64 goals against average.
This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools. Brandeis has not faced any of the other schools in the ECAC field, but went 2-2 against NCAA tournament squads, defeating MIT and Chicago and falling to Rochester and Washington (Mo.). Castleton State lost their only match with an ECAC tournament team, falling to Mass. College of Liberal Arts.
Other first-round match-ups on Wednesday afternoon in the ECAC Division III New England tournament feature No. 7-seed Lesley University (15-4-1) traveling to No. 2-seed Keene State College (14-6-2); No. 6-seed UMass-Boston (14-5-1) heading to No. 3 University of New England (14-3); and No. 5 Emmanuel College(14-6-1) going west to face No. 4 Mass. College of Liberal Arts (14-5). The semifinals and finals will be played on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 14 and 15, on the campuses of the higher seeds.