Moving on! Women's soccer advances past Amherst on PKs to get to NCAA tourney Sweet 16

Alexis Grossman '17 celebrates after the Judges advanced past Amherst on PKs (photo by John Risley)
Alexis Grossman '17 celebrates after the Judges advanced past Amherst on PKs (photo by John Risley)

AMHERST, Mass. (courtesy Amherst College) – Following a 1-1 double overtime tie, the 11th-ranked Brandeis University women's soccer team advanced past No. 16 Amherst College in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Division III Championships with a 3-2 advantage in penalty kicks Sunday afternoon at Hitchcock Field. The Judges move to 15-2-4 on the season, while the Lord Jeffs end their season at 11-3-3.


  • Brandeis held an 18-17 edge in shots and 9-8 advantage in shots on goal. Amherst led 12-1 in corners, but committed 15 fouls compared to the Judges' five.
  • Junior Lea McDaniel (Phoenix, Ariz./Chapparal) scored the first goal of the game for Brandeis in the fourth minute, while Megan Kim '16 evened the score with just under 15 minutes to play in regulation.
  • After two scoreless overtime periods, the game went into penalty kicks. Amherst goalkeeper Holly Burwick '16 stopped the first shot, but Brandeis scored on the next three attempts from senior Holly Szafran (Homewood, Ala./Newton North), rookie Maddie Marx (Winchester, Mass. / Winchester) and junior Michaela Friedman (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. / Comsewogue), respectively. Kim scored on the Purple & White's first shot, but Brandeis junior Alexis Grossman (Syosset, N.Y./Syosset) made back-to-back saves to put Brandeis in the driver's seat. Ashleyn Heller '17 evened the score at 2-2 before the Judges went back ahead, but Amherst missed wide on its final opportunity.
  • McDaniel led Brandeis with five shots on goal.
  • Grossman made seven saves in net, a season-high. 
  • Offensively for Amherst, Caleigh Plaut '19 led the home team with three shots on net, Emily Hester'17 posted two. Burwick made eight saves in net for the Purple & White.
  • Brandeis scored just 4:50 into play. Moving down the right sideline, a cross by the Judges landed inside the box. Amherst defenders were unable to clear it as McDaniel took the shot near the penalty hash and placed it into the back of the net.
  • With 15:15 left in the first half, Burwick kept it a one-score game as she made an incredible save, deflecting the Brandeis shot over the net.
  • Grossman made two impressive saves of her own early in the second half to maintain a lead.
  • In the 75th minute, Amherst knotted the game as Kim found the loose ball in a crowded box for her fourth score of the season. 
  • After two scoreless double overtime periods, the Judges advanced in penalty kicks, 3-2.


  • Brandeis improved to 7-4 all-time in the tournament in its fifth appearance. The Judges are in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2012, when they also advanced on Amherst's home field. Brandeis reached the Elite Eight that season, their best run ever.
  • With the Judges' men's team advancing as well, Brandeis is one of two schools, along with Calvin (Mich.) College, to still have both teams still alive in the NCAA Division III tournament.


  • The Judges will play William Smith (18-1-1) in the sectionals next weekend with a day and time to be announced.