RIVERDALE, N.Y. -- The 25th-ranked Brandeis University women's soccer team solidified its NCAA tournament credentials today with a 2-0 win at New York University thanks to a goal and an assist from senior midfielder Ellie Einhorn (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Park). The Judges wrap up one of the most succesful regular-season campaigns in school history at 14-4-1, 4-3 in the University Athletic Association and await their postseason fate on Monday morning. NYU closes its season at 7-10-2, 2-5 UAA.
After a tightly-contested first third of the game, the Judges finally broke through in the 33rd minute. Senior Sofia Vallone (Westport, Conn./Staples) took a feed from Einhorn. Vallone made one move to beat a defender and fired on net from 25 yards out, finding the lower-left corner. The goal was Vallone's 17th of the season, tying Melissa Delowe '04's single-season record, set in 2003. Vallone is also just two points shy of Delowe's single-season mark of 40 points, while her sixth game-winning goal of the campaign is one shy of the school mark, set by Pam Vaughan '90 in 1988 and 1989.
After a tight first half in which Brandeis owned a 6-5 edge in shots taken, the Judges dominated the second half, 9-3. The visitors finally broke through with an insurance goal in the 69th minute. The play started off a scramble in front of the net after a corner kick. Junior back Ali Maresca (Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo) hit the crossbar with a header, but Einhorn was there to convert the rebound for her third goal of the season.
The Brandeis defense was outstanding, holding NYU to just three shots on goal, with sophomore Francine Kofinas (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West) making three saves for her fifth shutout of the season and the team's 10th, one shy of a school-record set three times, most recently in 2008. The Violets' Rachael Ross had six stops in the losing effort.
The Judges, ranked third in the New England region in the most recent NCAA rankings, have an outstanding shot at making the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1988. The announcement will be made by the NCAA at 9 a.m. at http://www.ncaa.com