Women's soccer team in NCAAs for 2d time in Brandeis history

Castleton State College is first-round foe in game at Gordon Field at 1:30 p.m. Saturday

The women’s soccer team is entering post-season play in the prestigious National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III tournament for the second time in Brandeis history. The Judges will host the first two rounds of the tournament on Gordon Field on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13 and 14.

Brandeis will play Castleton State College in the first round on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., following the Williams College-Lasell College game earlier that day. The winners of these two matches will face off on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Tickets will be $3 for students and $6 for adults.

The Brandeis women finished the 2010 campaign with a 14-4-1 record, their winningest regular season since 2004. They were third in the University Athletic Association with a 4-3 record, enabling them to claim an at-large NCAA tournament berth for the first time since 1988.

Brandeis is coached by Denise Dallamora, who is in her 31st season and is the only coach in the program's history.

The team is led on the field by seniors Sofia Vallone of Westport, Conn., and Tiffany Pacheco of Rehoboth, Mass. Vallone led the UAA in overall goals (17), overall points (38) and goals (5) and points in conference games (10). With postseason play still to come, Vallone has tied the Brandeis single-season record for goals and is two points shy of the single-season points record.

Pacheco has nine assists this season to lead the UAA, while her 25 points are third in the UAA. She has 28 career assists, tied for Brandeis' all-time lead, and is in fourth place on the Judges' career list with 86.

The Judges also have a fine defense, led by senior Taryn Martiniello of Wilmington, Mass., and juniors Ali Maresca of Wyckoff, N.J., Fran Shin of Bayside, N.Y. and Ali Theodore of Walpole, Mass., on the back line and sophomore goalkeeper Francine Kofinas of Dix Hills, N.Y.

The Brandeis defense has turned in 10 shutouts this season and has never allowed more than two goals in a game, posting a 0.62 goals-against average. Kofinas's 45 saves in UAA games led the league, while her 83 total saves and 0.58 GAA were third.

Castleton State College posted a 16-2-1 record this season and claimed the North Athletic Conference's automatic berth in the tournament. The Spartans have three 10-goal scorers, led by senior Courtney Chadbourne. This three-time NAC Player of the Year has 21 goals and seven assists for 49 points this season. Junior Hilary Cooke (16-4-36) and sophomore Megan Blongy (12-7-31) also earned first-team All-NAC honors, as did sophomore goalkeeper Ericka Davis (7 shutouts, 81 saves).

Brandeis has faced seven teams – including four others from the UAA - who are in the NCAA tournament this season, posting a 3-3-1 record. The Judges defeated Springfield (3-1), Roger Williams (6-0) and Washington University (2-0), while falling to Rochester (0-1), Emory (0-2) and Chicago (0-2) and drawing with William Paterson (0-0). Castleton State lost its only game against an NCAA tournament team, 2-1, to Plattsburgh State.

This will be the second-ever meeting between Brandeis and Castleton State College and second in a row in the postseason. The Judges and Spartans met in the first round of the 2009 ECAC Division III New England tournament with Brandeis taking a 3-0 victory on Gordon Field behind a pair of Pacheco goals.

The other matchup of the weekend features Williams (12-3-2), champions of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), taking on Lasell (14-3-3), winners of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.

Categories: Athletics, Student Life

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