With a 2-1 loss to Quinnipiac (1-0) in the first game of the season putting pressure on field hockey, the Lions (0-1) travel to Cornell and Colgate for games on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, attempting to regain confidence and move above .500.
The weekend and the Ivy League season opens against the Big Red (2-0), a team that the Light Blue has had little success against. Columbia has only one win in 11 games against Cornell all-time, and have never won at Ithaca. Last year, the Lions fell 3-0, as Alyssa DePaola scored two goals for the Big Red. DePaola leads the team with three points so far on the season, with a goal and an assist in two games. Freshman Kate Thompson has also been an asset for Cornell, scoring a goal against Lafayette. Her efforts earned her Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors.
Columbia continues its northern road trip with a game against Colgate (1-2). Last season’s contest ended in a 3-0 win for the Lions, with goals coming from midfielders Megan Davidson and Jane Gartland. The Raider defense has been shaky, with the team allowing six goals to Syracuse and three to New Hampshire in back-to-back losses that opened the season. Colgate rebounded with a 3-0 win against Rider, as sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Pedersen made five saves to preserve the shutout. Colgate’s offensive leader has undoubtedly been Lauren Remkus, who has four goals in three games for the Raiders.
Despite the quality of the opposition they face, the possibility that the Lions could win both of their games is not a forlorn hope. Columbia’s biggest problem in its loss to Quinnipiac was its failure to make good on offensive opportunities. The Lions did not score on any of their four corner chances in overtime against Quinnipiac, but if their ratio of scoring on corner chances increases, then they will undoubtedly meet with more success.
Two wins would certainly be a shot in the arm for the squad. Not only would it bring the Lions above the .500 mark, but it would also set up nicely the next two games against vulnerable nonconference opponents Fairfield and Lehigh, which Columbia beat last season, 2-0, and 2-1, respectively.
Play begins at noon against Cornell in Ithaca on Friday.