Bowdoin hands #18 women first loss of season, 2-1

Sapir Edalati '15 (Photo courtesy Sportspix.biz)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The 18th-ranked Brandeis University women's soccer team conceded their first two goals of the season today, and the Judges fell at home to Bowdoin College, 2-1. With the loss, the Judges fall to 5-1, while the visiting Polar Bears improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2007 under first-year head coach Brianne Weaver.

The first half of the contest was evenly played, mainly in the midfield, with Bowdoin owning a 6-4 edge in shots and 4-1 advantage in shots on goal. The Polar Bears broke through in the final minute of play, when sophomore back Kathleen Smith (Oakton, Va./Potomac School) fed rookie forward Audrey Phillips (Woodinville, Wash./Woodinville) at the right side of the 18-yard box. Phillips lofted a high shot that went just over the outstretched arms of Brandeis senior Francine Kofinas (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West) and under the crossbar just 48 ticks before halftime.

Brandeis turned up its pressure in the second half, outshooting Bowdoin 10-4, but rookie Bridget McCarthy (Hopkinton, Mass./Worcester Acad.) made six of her seven saves after the break. Her finest moment came in the 67th minute, when she made a diving save on Brandeis sophomore forward Sapir Edalati (Great Neck, N.Y./Great Neck South) to push the ball past the right post. McCarthy also made a nice stop on the ensuing corner kick, getting in front of a shot by junior Mary Shimko (Bay Village, Ohio/Lake Ridge Acad.).

The Polar Bears got a key insurance goal in the 85th minute, when junior midfielder Mary Popolizio (Rexford, N.Y./Shenendowha) one-timed home a cross from rookie Jennifer Hofstedder (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham). The additional goal would prove to be crucial, as Brandeis scored just 3:05 later. Edalati got a head on a corner by sophomore midfielder Alec Spivack (Miami, Fla./Miami Palmetto Senior) for her second goal of the season. But the goal was too little, too late, as the Judges couldn't muster another shot in the final 2:52.

McCarthy finished with seven saves for the Polar Bears, while Kofinas had two and sophomore Michelle Savuto (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) had one in the second half. Brandeis owned an 8-0 margin in corner kicks as well.

The Judges return to action on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. when they host Gordon College, while the Polar Bears return to NESCAC action on Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. at Middlebury.