CLEVELAND (taken from a CWRU press release) – In a game delayed by a pair of lightning strikes, the Brandeis University women's soccer team defeated host Case Western Reserve University, 1-0, in the University Athletic Association opener for both squads. The Judges improve to 8-2 overall, 1-0 in the UAA. The Spartans fall to 6-5, 0-1 UAA.
Brandeis capitalized on one of its few opportunities when sophomore forward Melissa Darling (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) broke the deadlock in the 79th minute. Darling sent a left-footed cross from the left end line that found the bottom right corner of the goal. Her second goal of the season and her career came just 13 seconds before the second lightning delay of the match. It was Darling's first collegiate game-winner.
After the delay, the Spartans were unable to equalize in the remaining 12 minutes of the match.
The match was tightly contested until the Judges broke through late. Shots in the first half were 3-2 in favor of the Spartans, with junior forward Dara Spital (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) getting both Brandeis shots.
Case senior midfielder Rachel Bourque (Newton, N.H./Central Catholic) looked to put the Spartans in front in the eighth minute, but her header following a cross by sophomore midfielder Kate Dolansky (Brecksville, Ohio, Hathaway Brown) floated just wide of the goal.
In the 38th minute, Bourque gave it another shot when she rifled a low drive from 25 yards out that skipped off the slick surface and into the arms of Brandeis junior goalkeeper Michelle Savuto (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood).
Midway through the second half, freshman forward Alexa Williams threatened to score when her strike from 25 yards out cleared the outstretched hands of Savuto but hit the crossbar.
For the match, shots were even at seven. Brandeis held the advantage in corners, 7-3. In goal, junior goalkeeper Abbey Smith (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) saved one shot for the hosts, while Savuto saved two for the visiting Judges.
The Judges return to action Tuesday afternoon at Eastern Nazarene College at 4 p.m. before returning home on October 12 for their UAA home opener at noon against Rochester. That game will be Brandeis's Homecoming contest.