WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's soccer team scored two first-half goals on set pieces and maintained their lead throughout the game to defeat visiting Springfield College, 3-1, on Gordon Field today. With the win, the Judges, ranked seventh in New England, improved to 2-1-1 on the season, while the Pride, fifth in the region, fall to 2-2-0.
Brandeis took control early in the game. In the sixth minute, junior back Ali Maresca (Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo) opened the scoring when she headed home a corner kick from senior forward Tiffany Pacheco (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional). It was Maresca's second goal of the season and of her career.
The Judges tallied the game-winner in the 15th minute. After a Springfield foul in the midfield, junior back Fran Shin (Bayside, N.Y./Benjamin Cardozo) sent a free kick into the box from about 35 yards out. It found the head of junior forward Mimi Theodore (Walpole, Mass./Walpole), the team's leading goal-scorer in 2009, and she knocked home her first of the campaign and 14th of her career. Brandeis outshot Springfield, 9-5, in the first half and took a 2-0 lead into the break.
Springfield came out strong in the second half, earning two early corner kicks. The Pride converted on the second, 3:52 into the stanza, when senior forward Erica Donnelly (Weymouth, Mass.) potted the bending corner off the foot of junior forward Katie Mantie (Wallingford, Conn.). It was Donnelly's first goal and Mantie's first assist of the season.
Brandeis added a key insurance goal in the 65th minute. Mimi Theodore slid to send a ball towards the net from about 30 yards out. Brandeis senior Sofia Vallone (Westport, Conn./Staples) beat Pride sophomore keeper Erin Greenstein (Framingham, Mass.) to the ball and fired it into the net. It was Vallone's team-leading third goal of the season and the 14th of her career.
In net, Greenstein made five saves in the losing effort for Springfield. Judge sophomore Francine Kofinas (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West) was untested in the first half to earn the win, while rookie Leah Sax (Lincoln, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) had four stops in the second.
Brandeis returns to action on Tuesday afternoon when they travel to Bridgewater State University for a 3 p.m. match, while Springfield hosts Williams College at 7 p.m. the same day.