CLEVELAND – The Case Western Reserve University women's soccer team (6-5) fell to Brandeis University (Mass.) (8-2) by a score of 1-0 in the 2013 University Athletic Association opener on Saturday afternoon at Case Field.
The match was played in rainy, slick conditions and saw two separate lightning delays throughout the course of the afternoon.
Senior midfielder Rachel Bourque (Newton, N.H./Central Catholic) looked to put the Spartans in front in the eighth minute, but her header following a cross by sophomore midfielder Kate Dolansky (Brecksville, Ohio, Hathaway Brown) floated just wide of the goal.
In the 38th minute, Bourque gave it another shot when she rifled a low drive from 25 yards out that skipped off the slick surface and into the arms of Brandeis goalkeeper Michelle Savuto.
All told, the first half saw only three shots by the Spartans and two by the visiting Judges.
Midway through the second half, freshman forward Alexa Williams threatened to score when her strike from 25 yards out cleared the outstretched hands of Savuto but hit the crossbar.
Brandeis capitalized on one of its few opportunities when Melissa Darling broke the deadlock in the 79th minute. Darling sent a left-footed cross from the left end line that found the bottom right corner of the goal. Her second goal of the season came 13 seconds before the second lightning delay of the match.
After the delay, the Spartans were unable to equalize in the remaining 12 minutes of the match.
In goal, junior goalkeeper Abbey Smith (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) saved one shot, while Savuto saved two for the visiting Judges.
For the match, shots were even at seven. Brandeis held the advantage in corners, 7-3.
The Spartans will play a make-up match at Oberlin College on Tuesday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m. The match was nearly completed with the Spartans comfortably ahead on September 19, but a pair of lightning delays forced the contest to be started over at a later date.