Currently 1-0 in Ivy League play, the women’s soccer team (4-4-0) will face Ancient Eight rival Brown this Saturday. Although Brown (6-2-0) lost its first conference matchup against Dartmouth last weekend, the Lions are still expecting stiff competition from the Bears.
“Brown will certainly be prepared for us, and it is always very competitive with them, so we are looking forward to it,” Columbia head coach Kevin McCarthy said earlier this week.
The Bears boast recent victories over Northeastern and St. John’s, who defeated the Lions, 2-1, in overtime toward the beginning of the year. Brown has shown some significant firepower in the front line. Forwards Chloe Cross and Mika Siegelman have combined for seven out of Brown’s 11 goals scored thus far this season.
To counter Brown’s offensive strength, the Lions will rely on junior forwards Beverly Leon and Coleen Rizzo, who both currently lead the team in scoring.
“Since freshman year, we’ve always loved playing together, and I’m happy that our coach got us back on the field together,” Rizzo said of Leon.
McCarthy has noticed a vast improvement recently in the team’s offensive production from the beginning of the season. “Our players are learning how to create opportunities from our possession, and we have certainly improved in that area,” McCarthy said. “If we continue to defend stoutly as a team and make sure that all possessions lead to production in the attacking third, we are going to keep getting better, and the results will take care of themselves.”
If the Lions can pull out a win against Brown on Saturday, they will be one step closer to bringing home their first Ivy League title since the 2006 season.
“We have a lot of individual strengths, so if we provide those and play really as a team instead of as individuals, I think we have a great chance at beating Brown,” Rizzo said.
The matchup is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday at Brown.