Columbia’s field hockey team (4-2, 1-0 Ivy) won its opening Ivy game on Sunday, beating host Brown (2-3, 0-1 Ivy) 4-1. The victory was the Lions’ fourth in a row, as they have rebounded after two disappointing losses to start the season.
While most of the Lions’ games in 2012 have been evenly matched, Columbia clearly had the upper hand against Brown. The Lions outshot the Bears 12-5 in the first half and earned six penalty corners to the Bears’ zero. But Bears freshman goalie Shannon McSweeney made 10 first-half saves to keep the Lions off the board. Freshman Meghan O’Donnell even scored with less than 35 seconds in the first half to give the Bears the lead going into halftime.
“In the first half we came out a bit slow, but to give Brown credit, I thought they had a great game defensively against us in the first half,” Lions coach Marybeth Freeman said.
The Lions continued to dominate Brown in the second half, outshooting the Bears 12-5 again and earning six penalty corners. Columbia finally capitalized on their many scoring chances in the 45th minute, with senior Gabby Kozlowski hitting the goal off an assist from senior Bridget DeSandis. Columbia then took the lead off a goal from junior Liz Malone at the 47:59 mark, before a Brown own goal in the 60th minute gave the Lions a commanding 3-1 lead. Senior Molly Andrews scored the final goal with less than three minutes to go to ensure the win for the Lions.
Freeman attributed the Lions’ second-half success to a number of factors.
“We did a good job of being more productive with our shot selection and being a little more aggressive in the circle which led to us being able to capitalize on our second half opportunities,” she said. “I thought from end to end we played very solid in the second half, from our goalkeeping all the way to the forward line.”
The Lions will return to action on Friday when they host Cornell at 4 p.m. in the Columbia Field Hockey Venue.