WALTHAM, Mass. – For the first time in her career, Brandeis University sophomore goalkeeper Michelle Savuto of Ridgewood, N.J., has been selected as the University Athletic Association women's soccer Defensive Player of the Week.
Savuto splits time in net with senior Francine Kofinas of Dix Hills, N.Y. The duo led Brandeis to a pair of 1-0 victories last week, defeating Gordon College on Sept. 18 and Bates College on Sept. 21. Kofinas earned the win in both games, as the Judges scored first-half goals in both, but Savuto had the lion's share of Brandeis's saves. She made three stops in the second half at home against Gordon and four more against Bates on the road as the Judges improved to 7-1.
Prior to Brandeis's third-straight 1-0 win on Sept. 24 at Wellesley, Savuto had stopped 18 of the 19 shots she faced for a .950 save percentage, which ranked ninth among all Division III players who had played in half of their team's contests. Savuto's 0.25 goals-against average was tied with Kofinas and one other for 12th in Division III. The Judges' team GAA of 0.25 was ninth; their 0.86 shutout percentage was fourth and their 0.938 save percentage was seventh.
Now 8-1 overall this season, in head coach Denise Dallamora's 34th campaign, Brandeis is off to its third-best start after nine games in program history, trailing only an 8-0-1 start in 2004 and a 9-0 beginning to 2003. The Judges were ranked 24th in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III poll.
Savuto shared her UAA honor with Emory defender Lauren Gorodetsky.
Savuto is a 2011 graduate of Ridgewood High School. She is the daughter of Paul and Deborah Savuto, Ridgewood, N.J.
Kofinas is a 2009 graduate of Half Hollow Hills West High School. She is the daughter of George and Eileen Kofinas, Dix Hills, N.Y.