WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University women's soccer team took the first step in its attempt to three-peat as the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III tournament champions today as the top-seeded Judges defeated eighth-seeded Castleton State College, 3-0, under the lights of Gordon Field.
Brandeis (10-6-3) was led by junior forward Tiffany Pacheco (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional), who scored twice in the first half, finishing nice passes from her teammates. In the 13th minute, senior forward Melissa Gorenkoff (Woodbury, N.Y./Syosset) sent a nice cross through the box that Pacheco was able to one-touch home. It was Gorenkoff's team-leading ninth assist of the season, extending her career total to 27.
Junior midfielder Sofia Vallone (Westport, Conn./Staples) got the helper on Pacheco's goal in 39th minute. She sent a ball through the Castleton State defense, that both Pacheco and sophomore Ali Theodore (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) had a chance at. Pacheco took it and scored her ninth goal of the season. It was her second multi-goal game of the season and the fourth of her career.
Brandeis added an insurance goal in the second half in the 67th minute. Sophomore back Alison Maresca (Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo) registered her first career point when she served a ball into the box. Classmate and reserve forward Kelly Doolittle (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern) beat the keeper to the ball and deposited it for her second career goal and first of 2009.
Castleton State (11-7-2) was outshot in the game by a 28-6 margin, but rookie goalkeeper Ericka Davis (Cambridge, Vt./Lamoille Union) kept the Spartans in the contest with 12 saves. The Judges were able to contain North Atlantic Conference Player of the Year Courtney Chadburn (No. Clarendon, Vt./Mill River Union), holding her to just one shot on goal.
Brandeis senior netminder Hillary Rosenzweig (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River) made four stops, pushing her school-record totals to 22 shutouts and 37 victories. With the win, Brandeis advances to the ECAC tournament semifinals for the seventh year in a row and clinches 10 wins in a season for the sixth time in the past seven campaigns. The Judges will take on fourth-seeded Mass. College of Liberal Arts, who defeated No. 5 Emmanuel, 3-0. Game time is expected to be noon on Saturday afternoon.