#25 women fall victim to opportunistic #10 Case Western, 2-1

Yasla Ngoma '24 scored the lone goal for the Judges (photo by Sportspix.com / Mike Tureski)
Yasla Ngoma '24 scored the lone goal for the Judges (photo by Sportspix.com / Mike Tureski)

WALTHAM, Mass. – Despite owning a 17-2 advantage in shots taken, the 25th-ranked Brandeis University women's soccer team couldn't overcome an opportunistic foe in #10 Case Western Reserve, as the Judge dropped a 2-1 decision in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest today on Gordon Field. With the loss, the Judges fall to 5-3-2, 0-2-2 UAA, while the Spartans improve to 11-0-0, 2-0-0 UAA.

In a showdown between two of the five top-25 squads in the conference, Brandeis used a pressing offense to control the ball for much of the first half, outshooting the visitors, 9-1. CWRU broke the ice, however, in the 29th minute. Laura Gorjanc lofted a ball from the left flank into the box, and Carolyn Koutores got a head on it to pop it over a charging Brandeis goalkeeper to net register her first goal of the season.

Brandeis was able to net an equalizer with time running out in the stanza. After winning a late corner kick, junior Caroline Swan (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pine Richland) sent the corner into the goalie box. After a bounce, sophomore Yasla Ngoma (North Plainfield, N.J./Oak Knoll) pounced and put it in the back of the net for her team-leading fifth goal of the season. The assist was Swan's fourth of the campaign.

CWRU got the game-winning goal early in the second half on the counter-attack. Anika Washburn sent a through-ball that perfectly split two defenders. The Spartans' Brianna Van Zanten beat Brandeis rookie Hannah Bassan (Aventura, Fla./NSU University School) to the ball and slotted it home for her third of the campaign.

Brandeis had pressure on the visitors after the go-ahead goal, forcing the Spartans' Maggie Storti to make four more saves. Storti's best work came late, as she corralled a Swan free kick in the 88th minute, and in the last minute of regulation denied the Judges' Lauren Mastandrea (Hauppage, N.Y./Hauppage) on a free kick from just outside the left side of the box despite several screens from players on both sides.

For the game, Storti made nine saves to earn the win. Bassan did not have any stops in the losing effort. Brandeis had won the previous seven meetings against CWRU.

The Judges return to action next weekend when they travel to #7 University of Chicago on Friday evening and #7 Washington University on Sunday afternoon.