August 30, 2013

Spital leads #12 women's soccer in top 25 showdown with #15 MIT

WALTHAM, Mass. — In a battle of teams in the Top 25 of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, 12th-ranked Brandeis defeated 15th-rated MIT, 1-0, on a first-half goal by junior forward Dara Spital (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep).

Brandeis (1-0) held the advantage in the first half, outshooting MIT by an 8-4 margin. Spital tested Engineer Lauren Ullman (Princeton, N.J./Princeton) just 14 seconds into the contest, and the Judges had two more shots before the All-American struck. In the 21st minute, Spital dribbled the ball through the midfielder to open up space. About 25 yards from net, she unleashed a left-footed shot that went into the upper-right netting over the leaping Ulmann.

The goal was Spital's first of the season and the 15th goal of her career. It was the ninth career game-winning goal for the transfer from Division I Central Florida. Spital was fourth in Division III in 2012 with eight game-winners.

After the goal, MIT stepped up its pressure, getting off the next two shots of the stanza, but Brandeis junior Michelle Savuto (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) made the saves. The visitors were even more tenacious in the second half, when they outshot the Judges, 11-2, putting five of those shots on goal.

Junior back Alec Spivack (Miami, Fla./Miami Palmetto) cleared a ball off the line following scrum resulting from a corner-kick. Savuto then made four more saves, including two on senior Michaelann Rodriguez (Florence, Ala./Florence) in the 56th minute after another MIT corner kick. After the initial flurry in the second half, Brandeis kept the Engineers to just two shots, none on goal, in the final 18 minutes.

The visitors finished with 15-10 edge in shots, including 8-7 in shots on goal. Savuto had seven saves for her ninth career shutout. Ulmann suffered the loss with six stops, five in the first half.

Brandeis returns to action at home on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Clark University, who defeated Wentworth today, 4-1. MIT hits the road again at Simmons College the same day at noon.

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