Columbia’s field hockey team (4-2) looks to build on its four-game win streak as it hosts two matches this weekend. The Lions will play their first Ivy League home game against Cornell on Friday, and will also compete against Fairfield on Sunday.
Cornell (1-4, 1-0 Ivy) has had a difficult start to the season, but did manage to win its Ivy opener, 4-0, against Penn. Junior Hannah Balleza leads the Big Red with four goals and one assist this season, and her hat trick led Cornell to its first victory. Other key players for Cornell include junior forward Brittany Thompson and senior forward Kat DiPastina, who have each scored a goal and notched an assist this year.
While Cornell has only allowed 12 goals in five games so far this season, statistics show underlying deficiencies in its defensive performance. The Big Red’s opponents have attempted 115 shots over the course of the season, while Cornell has only managed 37.
But junior goalkeeper Carolyn Horner, who has a 0.825 save percentage, has played superbly for the Big Red, and will have to continue her dominating play to keep Cornell in the game.
Fairfield (5-3) has won five out of their last six contests, but is coming off a disappointing 5-0 defeat to No. 16 Michigan. Sophomore Felicitas Heinen is the Stags’ main offensive threat. Her eight goals and three assists give her more than double the point total of any other Fairfield player.
The Lions will play Cornell on Friday at 4 p.m. and Fairfield on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both matches will be played at the Columbia Field Hockey Venue.