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Women’s soccer opens UAA play with 1-0 win over NYU

Courtesy of CWRU Athletics
Second-year Alexis Sassower scores her first career goal in opening UAA game against NYU on Sept. 30.

The Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team extended their win streak to six games last weekend, defeating Capital University 2-0 on Sept. 24 and beating their conference rival New York University by 1-0 on Sept. 30. The Spartans now hold an overall record of 9-0-1, including 1-0 against teams in the University Athletic Association.

In the non-conference regular season finale against Capital, the Spartans took advantage of the opponent’s aggressiveness early in the game. Second-year midfielder/forward Ceci Dapino was taken down in the box by a defender, resulting in a penalty kick for CWRU. Fourth-year midfielder Aniya Hartzler wasted no time and swiftly found the back of the net on her third career penalty kick to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.

Hartzler’s goal was her first goal of the season and her 13th for her career. A moment for the history books, this was the 1,000th goal in the program’s 40-year history.

The final goal came in the second half, which was set up by second-year forward Molly Shamah. After dribbling past a defender on the left side of the field and entering the box, Shamah passed the ball toward the middle to second-year forward Andrea Silva, who quickly kicked it in for the 2-0 lead. The play gave Shamah her first career assist while Silva recorded her second career goal.

The Spartans held the Comets scoreless for the game to notch their sixth shutout of the season. Their defense was anchored by fourth-year goalkeeper Maggie Storti, who saved three shots and lowered her goals-against average to 0.34.

In the team stats, CWRU dominated all categories. The Spartans recorded 31 shots compared to Capital’s 7 and were led by second-year forward Alexis Sassower, who recorded 5 shots total and 3 shots on goal.

Rolling with momentum, the sixth-ranked Spartans traveled to Newark, New Jersey this past weekend and handed NYU their first loss of the season. The match was tight throughout, with neither team gaining an advantage over the other. The teams were tied in shots (10-10), but NYU had the advantage in saves (6-5) and CWRU had an advantage in shots on goals (7-5). In the 86th minute, Sassower started the scoring with a game-winning goal off an assist from fourth-year midfielder/forward Helina VanBibber. The goal was Sassower’s first of her career.

Once again, the Spartans recorded another shutout. Storti, who played all 90 minutes, had four saves, bringing her goals-against average down to 0.30 and her season statistics to 9-0-1. She was named the UAA Defensive Athlete of the Week for her stellar play.

The Spartans have six games left of their regular season. They will host 15th-ranked Emory University this Saturday, Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. on DiSanto Field before traveling to New York to face the University of Rochester on Oct. 14. CWRU will return to Cleveland for a two-game homestand against the University of Chicago on Oct. 20 and the third-ranked Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 22. Both games will be held on DiSanto Field, with the UChicago game commencing at 5 p.m. and the WashU one kicking off at 11 a.m. The Spartans will hit the road for the final two games of the season. The team will face Brandeis University on Oct. 28 and the first-ranked Carnegie Mellon University on Nov. 4.

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About the Contributor
Puneet Bansal
Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor
Puneet Bansal (she/her) is a fourth-year student majoring in biochemistry and medical anthropology. She loves obsessing over food, spending time outdoors or annoying her friends. Hailing from the Bay Area, she is an ardent Golden State Warriors fan and finds it daunting to sport her Stephen Curry jersey around Cleveland.

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