Spital strikes again with two goals as Judges upset #23 Springfield, 2-0

Dara Spital
Dara Spital
WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis women's soccer team won its fourth straight game today, defeating 23rd-ranked Springfield College, 2-0, on Gordon Field. For the third time in those four games, the Judges received a game-winning goal from sophomore transfer Dara Spital (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep). The Pride were ranked fourth in New England, while the Judges are fifth.

In an evenly played first half, Springfield (2-1) outshot Brandeis, 10-9, but eight of the Judges (4-0) attempts were on goal. The Pride nearly got on the board early, when a shot from junior Vicki DiNatale (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) hit the underside of the crossbar but did not go fully over the line. SC senior Erin Greenstein (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) made the first five saves that were needed of her, but Spital finally broke the deadlock in the 31st minute. After Brandeis rookie Melissa Darling (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) had her initial shot saved, there was a mad scramble in the goal mouth. Another rookie, Chelsea Van Baush (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) tipped the ball to Spital, who notched her fourth goal of the season. The assist was Van Bauch's first collegiate point.

After senior Francine Kofinas (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West) made two saves for the Judges in the first half, sophomore Michelle Savuto (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) opened the second with four stops in the first 21 minutes. Savuto's key save came at the 66-minute mark, when she dove to tip a shot from Springfield senior Nina Vital (Ludlow, Mass./Ludlow) just wide of the post. She followed it up with a clean catch off the foot of Erica Donnelly (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) on the ensuing  corner kick.

Spital finally connected for an insurance goal in the 79th minute, converting a nice through ball from Darling with a hard low shot. It was Spital's second-straight two-goal game and Darling's first assist.

Springfield outshot Brandeis, 16-13, and Greenstein finished with eight saves, but Kofinas (two saves) and Savuto (four saves) combined for Brandeis's fourth shutout of the season, matching their total from 2011.

Brandeis returns to action on Tuesday when they head to Bridgewater State for a 3:30 kick-off. Springfield is at local rival Western New England on Thursday at 4 p.m.

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