Spital claims UAA Player of the Week honors, Sept. 3

Dara Spital

WALTHAM, Mass. – After scoring three goals – including two game winners – and adding an assist, Brandeis junior forward Dara Spital of Miami, Fla., was named the University Athletic Association Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week for Sept. 3.

Spital helped the 12th-ranked Brandeis women to start the season with back-to-back shutouts, including a 1-0 win against 15th-ranked MIT on August 30. Against the Engineers, the junior dribbled the ball through the midfield and faked to her right, opening up a shot on her left foot. The righty unleashed a left-footed laser from 25 yards out that flew into the upper-right netting over the leaping keeper. The goal made the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) weekly highlight show of top plays from across the country (http://www.nscaatv.com/09032013-college-review-show).

Against Clark University, Spital chipped in with two goals and an assist during a 6-0 victory over the Cougars. She scored what would prove to be the winner in the 11th minute, finishing a cross from sophomore Holly Szafran of Newton, Mass., for her second goal in as many games. Spital's second of the contest came in the 53rd minute, as she was able to collect the ball and slot it home after a scrum in front of the Clark goal. Three minutes later, Spital returned the favor to Szafran, playing a terrific through-ball that her strike partner promptly one-timed home.

Spital, a transfer from Division I Central Florida, has now been named UAA Player of the Week three times in her career. She has 17 career goals in just 25 games for the Judges. The junior also has 10 career game-winners. She finished fourth in Division III in 2012 with eight game-winners, part of a 14-goal campaign that earned her third-team Division III All-American honors from the NSCAA.

Spital is a 2011 graduate of Gulliver Preparatory School. She is the daughter of Michael and Jeanne Spital, Miami, Fla.