CWRU women’s soccer team overcome by weather against first conference opponent

J.P. O'Hagan, Staff Reporter

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The women’s soccer team rebounded from a narrow 1-0 loss to Brandeis in their University Athletics Association opener to beat Oberlin 4-0 on Tuesday night.

The Spartans fell in Saturday’s UAA season opener to Brandeis by a score of one to nothing. The wet weather added to the difficulty of the match as the two teams attempted to overcome not only each other, but also the slick conditions. Two lightning delays prolonged the game that was very evenly matched with both teams keeping the other at bay. The Judges were able to capitalize on one of the few opportunities between both teams when they broke through in the 79th minute, finding the bottom left corner of the goal.

The Spartans were unable to press back quickly because just moments later, the second lightning delay was called. The Spartans played strong, but were unable to score once play restarted. “We created some great scoring chances and the game went to the team that put the ball in the back of the net,” head coach Tiffany Crooks said. “I was very pleased with our play. We battled very hard and, I felt, performed very well. “

The Spartans were able to rebound when they played Oberlin on Tuesday. The game was a rematch of the rained out Sept. 12 game where Leah Levey had scored three goals and the Spartans were winning 4-1. However, that match was rained out in the 54th minute. The Spartans came back to Oberlin and didn’t miss a beat with the 4-0 win over the Yeomen.

The Spartans broke through early in the second half when Jessie Sabers tapped in a misplaced ball in the 49th minute. Levey added a goal of her own just five minutes later off of an assist by Sabers. The Spartans slowed down for a few minutes, but didn’t stay quiet for very long when Kate Dolansky found the back of the net at the 70:53 mark to make the score 3-0.

Neither the Spartans nor Levey were done for the night though when she found room between the posts for the second time Tuesday night in the 78th minute. The defense was untested as Oberlin managed just one shot all night. “It was interesting to get to play against an opponent that we were already familiar with from the same season. And, it was great to go so deep into our bench,” Crooks said, “ All of our players performed very well.”

In addition to the strong play this week, the Spartans were delighted by Crooks being named to her alma mater Ashland University’s 2013 Hall of Fame Induction Class. Crooks is the most successful women’s soccer coach in Case Western history. However, she is being honored for her play as a student at Ashland, where she graduated from in 2002.

She played keeper for Ashland and posted 174 career saves, the second most in school history. Now the head coach at Case in her seventh season, Crooks is a two-time UAA Coach of the Year and has led the Spartans to a 59-51-12 record. “I think my playing career helps me relate to the journey of our players. I know what it’s like to compete on a daily basis with people you love,” Crooks said, “I’m absolutely honored to go into the Ashland Hall of Fame.”

The Spartans will play again on Saturday against New York University and will hope to continue their strong play.