WALTHAM, Mass. – For the fifth-straight season, the Brandeis University women's soccer team will be playing in the NCAA Division III tournament. The Judges (12-4) earned an at-large berth to the Big Dance and will meet Farmingdale State (N.Y.) College (16-3-3) at the College of New Jersey on Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m.
Ticket prices will be announced later this week.
For the Brandeis women, a fifth-straight appearance marks the longest NCAA tournament stretch in program history under head coach Denise Dallamora, the team's only coach in the program's 39-year history. It is their eighth tournament appearance overall. The Judges are ranked #13 in the most recent United Soccer Coaches Division III national poll and #22 by D3soccer.com.
The Judges are coming off a season in which they won their first eight games of the season and 10 of their first 11. The Judges were a fixture in the Top 25 all season long, reaching as high as #10 by the United Soccer Coaches. After finishing up at 12-4 and 4-3 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), tied for fifth in the University Athletic Association. The Judges were one of six UAA teams named to the tournament. Overall, Brandeis faced nine teams that are also in the Big Dance, posting a 5-4 record against those squads.
The Judges boast a balanced scoring attack, with 15 different players scoring goals this season. Junior Katie Hayes (Eau Claire, Wisc./Regis) leads the squad with six goals and 12 points, while sophomore midfielder Daria Bakhtiari (Wilmington, Mass./Central Catholic School) had five goals and an assist for 11 points. The Judges also boast the second-best defense in the UAA, allowing just 11 goals all season for a 0.68 goals-against average, led by junior Sierra Dana (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East) in goal.
Farmingdale State is making its third-straight appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament and 11th overall by winning the Skyline Conference tournament. The Rams advanced past Mount St. Mary's on penalty kicks to win the title. The Rams went 2-3-2 against NCAA tournament squads this season. They have outscored opponents 56-9 this season and boast five players with eight or more goals, led by rookie Julissa Martinez's nine scores. Allison Khare leads FSC with 23 points.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Brandeis and Farmingdale State. The teams have one common opponent this season, New York University. Brandeis dropped a 2-1 decision to the Violets in their regular-season season finale on Nov. 3, while the Rams battled NYU to a scoreless draw on Oct. 18.
The other women's game at Brandeis's regional this weekend pits regional host #8 The College of New Jersey (13-1-1) and Western Connecticut State University (14-8-0) at 11 a.m. The winners of the two matches will meet Sunday in the second round at 1 p.m. Brandeis also played their first two rounds at TCNJ in 2016, when they made their only appearance in Division III Women's Soccer Final Four.