Lacrosse ended the season with more losses than wins in head coach Andrea Cofrin’s sophomore season at the helm. But a total of seven wins is the team’s most in program history, and it all started with a statement win at home against Dartmouth, where the Light Blue recorded a 17-10 statement win.
The Lions were only up 8-6 after the first 30 minutes, when Cofrin focused her halftime talk on defense. She emphasized that stopping the Big Green drive could result in a historic victory. When the Light Blue came out for the second half, it kept a clean sheet for 20 minutes before conceding its first goal. Coupled with nine goals scored in the second half, the Lions finally beat Dartmouth for the first time ever in program history.
After the Dartmouth win, the Light Blue realized that it could compete in the Ivy League and perhaps beat more than one conference opponent, something it had never done.
Just over a month later, the Lions rewrote the history books with a 15-14 home win over Yale.
Yale was the most volatile team that the Light Blue faced all year. Although the Bulldogs never took the lead, they never let the Lions pull away, never letting the deficit reach more than three goals.
Fear struck the hearts of Columbia fans after Yale scored the final goal of the game with only four minutes to go. But the Light Blue ended up holding on, thanks to a crucial save by junior goalkeeper Kelsey Gedin with mere seconds remaining.
This year also featured individual players setting new team records. Senior midfielder Taylor Quinn accumulated the most ground balls and draw controls in Columbia history. Junior attacker Victoria Kalamaras also broke the single-season record for assists.
These results were looking less likely after a particularly tough road trip in the middle of the season. The Lions returned to Baker Athletics Complex, looking for a spark as they took on Wagner.
The game featured eight ties and eight lead changes, but Columbia managed to hold on with a 14-10 win. Quinn scored the first goal of the game, but, unable to pull away in the first half, the Lions had to accept a 7-7 tie at halftime. With stellar defense only conceding three goals, the Light Blue pulled away from the Seahawks in the second half, which also featured the first collegiate goal for first-year midfielder Fallon Quinn, Taylor’s younger sister.
Fallon Quinn’s goal capped off a stellar performance. At the beginning of the season, Cofrin stressed how important the young players would be for this team. Columbia is currently in a transition state, and with eight first-years coming in for the 2017-2018 academic year, it could have been hard to immediately work as a cohesive unit.
Ultimately, the Lions could not edge out a berth in the Ivy League Tournament. With three Ivy League teams in the NCAA Division 1 top 15, the challenge was too drastic for the young team to overcome.
An important takeaway from this year comes from the Dartmouth game, as the Big Green received votes for the top 25. The Light Blue’s win most certainly turned heads in the lacrosse world. With wins against usually strong Dartmouth and Yale programs in the last two seasons, the Lions look poised to continue competing in the future.
The future looks bright in Morningside Heights, with seven returning starters. Kalamaras will return looking to build off of her 42 assists, second most in the Ivy League. Sophomores Lindsey Ewertsen and Laine Parsons will both return after scoring 31 goals each. Fallon Quinn and fellow first-year Regan Steed, who started 14 and 15 games, respectively, will lead the young part of the team in 2018, along with the new recruiting class.
With Cofrin leading the charge, the Lions now stand a chance at competing in their first-ever Ivy League Tournament next season.