Women’s soccer (2-2-1) hits the road on Saturday to play Albany (1-6) before coming home to play Fairleigh Dickinson (3-4).
So far, the Lions’ schedule has been unforgiving—they’ll be playing their fifth road game within a nine-day stretch.
“I am looking forward to us continuing our progression in playing our brand of soccer where we dominate the ball,” head coach Kevin McCarthy said. “We got a couple training sessions under our belt, which have been few and far between, so I think we’ll be well prepared for their matchup next Friday.”
Albany’s defense has been shoddy so far this season, which should be an encouraging sign for the Light Blue. Albany has allowed at least three goals in four of its six losses. Columbia’s offense looks stronger this season, so it should be able to create the attacking opportunities needed to excel.
“What they’ve done in the past is obviously information for us to prepare, but ultimately our attention is put on us,” McCarthy said. “We’ll work hard at finishing our plays and if that happens we expect good things.”
Albany’s sole win of the season has been a 2-0 game against Florida Atlantic, a team to which the Lions suffered a 2-1 loss last weekend.
And in case the team needed a little extra motivation, Albany will be opening its new stadium in this weekend’s contest.
“It’s the first game there, so they’re looking forward to that,” McCarthy said. “So we’ll need to be at a very good level to get the result we’re looking for.”
Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, the Lions will no doubt be thankful to return to Columbia Soccer Stadium, where they still have nine home games remaining. They’ll start the home slate with a game against Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday.
Connie Lewis leads Fairleigh Dickinson with one goal and two assists to start the year, but overall the team has struggled to score, accruing just five goals in seven games.
The Knights have consistently struggled even more in the second half, and the Lions should use this to their advantage. Fairleigh Dickinson has surrendered 14 more shots on goal and has been outscored 9-2 in the second period, despite scoring at equal rates in the first half.
If the Light Blue makes the right adjustments during halftime, the team can put itself in a strong position to win its first home game of the season.
The stakes are especially high, since this is the final weekend before the start of Ivy League play. The action kicks off Friday night at 7 p.m. in Albany and again this Sunday for a 7 p.m. matchup at Columbia Soccer Stadium.