CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Brandeis women's soccer team had a strong showing in its 2012 season opener, defeating host MIT, 1-0, on Steinbrenner Field. The game-winning goal was scored by sophomore forward Dara Spital (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep).
The contest was a defensive struggle in the first half, with the Judges (1-0) outshooting the Engineers (0-1), 4-2, including 2-1 in shots on goal. Brandeis senior captain Francine Kofinas (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West) made the only save she was called on to make to keep the game scoreless.
In the second half, MIT tested Brandeis sophomore Michelle Savuto (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) with an early shot on goal by Emily Kuo just 21 seconds after the intermission. Savuto made the save, and the next opportunity went to the Judges. In the 53rd minute, Spital launched one of her game-high five shots from about 20 yards out. It sailed over the Engineer goalie's hands and into the upper left-hand corner for an unassisted tally. It was the first collegiate goal for Spital and her first point in a Brandeis uniform. The transfer from Division I Central Florida had an assist in seven games last season.
After the goal, MIT increased its pressure, launching seven of their eight shots in the second half after they trailed. The Brandeis defense made sure the shots were not of quality, as Savuto's only other save came just before the horn sounded, again off the foot of Kuo. The win was key for the Judges to get off to a good start, as the team went 0-4 in matches with a 1-0 score last season.
The Judges turn right around and play at Clark University tomorrow at 5 p.m.