WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's soccer team kicked off its 2011 season in fine fashion tonight, defeating visiting Clark University, 2-0, under the lights of Gordon Field in the season opener for both teams.
The first half of the contest was fairly evenly played, with Brandeis (1-0) outshooting the Cougars, 5-3. Clark (0-1) had the only two shots on goal, with Brandeis junior Francine Kofinas (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West) making the saves, including a fine diving stop on Cougar junior Hana Chamoun (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Lower Merion) in the 21st minute. Brandeis also owned a 4-0 edge in corner kicks in the first half.
The Judges finally broke through just over two minutes into the second half. Senior midfielder Alanna Torre (Weston, Fla./American Heritage School) and Clark senior netminder Audrey Eisemann (Worcester, Mass./Acad. of Math and Science) got tangled up in a challenge for the ball at the top of the 18. Torre was able to move the ball forward to sophomore midfielder Mary Shimko (Bay Village, Ohio/Lake Ridge Acad.), who sent the ball across the goal mouth into the left netting at the 47:05 mark. It was Shimko's first goal of the season and the third of her career.
Sophomore forward Hilary Andrews (New Bedford, Mass./Dartmouth) nearly added an insurance goal five minutes later, but a fine defensive play by her opposite number, Clark back Jenna Zarou (Lynn, Mass./St. Mary's), kept the Cougar deficit at one. Andrews helped the Judges get that insurance goal in the 74th minute, when she assisted rookie midfielder Sapir Edalati (Great Neck, N.Y./Great Neck South). Andrews got the ball on the end line and crossed it past Eisemann, and Edalati was crashing the net to finish with her first collegiate score at 73:40.
Brandeis outshot Clark, 7-1, in the second half and 12-4 for the entire game. Rookie Michelle Savuto (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) played the second half in net and earned the win, though she did not have to make any saves. Eisemann finished with two stops in the losing effort.
Brandeis is back in action against MIT on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., while Clark takes on Elms College in their home opener at the same time.