A sweet repeat! #23 Women's soccer eliminates #5 College of New Jersey on PKs to move on in NCAA tourney

Jubilation as the Judges move on to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16! (Photo courtesy TCNJ sports info)
Jubilation as the Judges move on to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16! (Photo courtesy TCNJ sports info)

TRENTON, N.J. (info taken from a TCNJ press release)– The 23rd-ranked Brandeis University women's soccer team scored a goal late in regulation against 5th-ranked College of New Jersey to tie the game at 1-1 force overtime in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament today. Neither team scored a golden goal, and the Judges went on to outscore the Lions, 4-2, on penalty kicks - thanks to a pair of Alexis Grossman (Syosset, N.Y./Syosset) saves - to advance to the Sweet 16 of the tournament for the second year in a row. Brandeis moves to 14-3-4 on the campaign, while TCNJ's campaign comes to a close at 17-1-2.

The Judges will meet McDaniel (Md.) College next weekend at a site to be determined.


  • The Judges fell behind in the 27th minute a goal by TCNJ junior Elizabeth Thoresen (Colts Neck, N.J./Red Bank Catholic). Lion senior Christine Levering (Robbinsville, N.J./Robbinsville) gained possession and slotted a through ball from the left side. Thoresen got behind the defense, took a touch, and blistered a shot to the near post upper corner to put the Lions up 1-0. It was the 10th goal of the season for Thoresen.
  • TCNJ nearly made it 2-0 minutes later when junior Kayla Bertolino (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) found daylight near the top right corner of the box. She rifled a shot that banged off the crossbar and back into play.
  • Brandeis had two legitimate scoring chances in the second half. Judge junior Samantha Schwartz (Highland Park, Ill./Highland Park) fired a shot from the top of the box that Lions' goalkeeper Jessica Weeder (Lebanon, N.J./North Hunterdon) tipped over the crossbar. On the ensuing corner kick, sophomore midfielder Hannah Maatallah (Wilton, Conn./Wilton) knocked a header from the far post just over the top of the crossbar.
  • Play was physical in the second half. TCNJ had a few chances, but couldn't extend the lead. The Judges' back line did a solid job in keeping Brandeis within striking distance.
  • Finally, with just 4:07 left in regulation, Schwartz capitalized with a terrific shot off a loose ball from the top of the box, rippling the back of the net for her ninth goal of the season.


  • Each team had two shots in overtime, while the Judges had four corner kicks in the last 20 minutes.
  • The lone save in the extra sessions came from Grossman with 1:45 left in the second OT period to force the game to penalties.


  • The Judges fell behind after missing their first PK attempt and the Lions made their first.
  • Rookie Katie Hayes (Eau Claire, Wisc. / Regis H.S.) got the Judges on the board, but the Lions answered to take a 2-1 lead.
  • Maatallah, who scored two goals in the opening round knotted the shootout at 2-2, and Grossman responded with her first save of the shootout.
  • Sophomore Emily Thiem (Kinnelon, N.J. / Kinnelon) put Brandeis ahead in the fourth round, and Grossman denied the equalizer, giving Brandeis a 3-2 lead headed into the fifth round.
  • Senior Cidney Moscovitch (Coral Glades, Fla./Coral Springs) buried her attempt, clinching the match, 4-2, and advancing the Judges.


  • The Judges outshot the home team, 13-10, for the match, but shots on goal were 3-2 in favor of the Lions.
  • Grossman made two stops in regulation, plus the two huge PK stops. Weeder had one save for the home team.
  • TCNJ owned a 7-6 edge in corner kicks, but it was 5-1 for Brandeis after the first half.
  • The Lions committed 16 fouls to eight for the Judges.


  • Brandeis advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2015 in nearly the same fashion – going on the road  to win their opener and defeating a team on its home turf in PKs. Grossman made two saves in the shootout against Amherst College last year as well.
  • The Judges are making their third all-time Sweet 16 appearance, reaching the Elite Eight in 2012.
  • This marks the second year in a row that both the Brandeis men and women reached the second weekend of play. The men defeated St. Joseph's (Maine) today, 3-0.


  • The #23 Judges will take on #15 McDaniel (Md.) College for the first time in program history.
  • The sectional also features top-ranked William Smith, who eliminated the Judges last year, 2-1, in overtime, and #13 Amherst, who Brandeis dismissed on PKs in 2015.