Women's soccer fends off MIT, 2-1, to open 2009 season

WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University women's soccer team scored once in each half and survived a late flurry of activity to hold off visiting MIT, 2-1, on Gordon Field in the season opener for both teams.

      Brandeis (1-0) opened the scoring in the 8th minute. Sophomore forward Mimi Theodore (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) collected a loose ball in the box. She slid it past an MIT defender to junior midfielder Sofia Vallone (Westport, Conn./Staples), who beat rookie Engineer goalkeeper Meghan Wright (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) for her sixth career goal.

      The Judges got the game winning goal in the 61st minute off the foot of sophomore midfielder Alanna Torre (Weston, Fla./American Heritage School). MIT junior keeper Katie Olesnavage (Ferndale, Mich./Ferndale) punched out a Brandeis cross that settled at Torre's feet just outside the box. She sent it high from about 20 yards out, eluding the visiting goalie.

      MIT (0-1) turned up their pressure in the final five minutes, paying off with a goal in the 89th minute. After taking a loose ball in offensive zone, Engineer junior midfielder Lauren Hernley (West Caldwell, N.J./Riverdale Country) took a few dribbles and put the ball on net. It slipped past Brandeis senior goalie Hillary Rosenzweig (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River) at the 88:03 mark, denying her the 17th shutout of her career. MIT kept up the pressure in the final 117 seconds, with a header from rookie Emily Kuo (Chicago, Ill./Univ. of Chicago Laboratory) going just wide as time expired.

      Rosenzweig finished with two saves for the win, while Wright made three stops and Olesnavage had none for the Engineers. Brandeis owned an 11-9 shot advantage and 6-3 edge in corner kicks.

Both teams take on Nazareth College of Rochester, N.Y., in their next contest. MIT hosts the Golden Flyers on Saturday afternoon, who then travel to Brandeis on Sunday. Both games will be played at 1 p.m.

BOX SCORE