Field hockey fell to Princeton 4-0 at home on Friday, picking up its first Ivy League loss of the season.
The Lions (6-4, 2-1 Ivy) played a heavily defensive game and kept Princeton (10-3, 3-0 Ivy) out of the net for the majority of the first half, only letting a goal slip by after 31 minutes.
In the first half, Columbia tallied two shots on goal. The Lions spent the majority of the game defending, putting up a captivating fight against the Tigers’ tireless offense. Princeton attempted 15 shots against the Lions and 3 penalty corners, but senior goalie Katie Dempsey and the entire Lions’ squad saved and blocked those attempts. Overall, Dempsey saved 19 shots on Friday, a career high, and led a solid defensive effort for Columbia.
“The team did very well to incorporate the principles we have been working on all season and especially this week in the game,” head coach Caroline Nelson-Nichols said.
Thirty minutes into the first half, Dempsey encountered a flurry of four shots in one minute. Six seconds after saving a shot from a penalty corner, the Lions found themselves down 0-1 after the Tigers slipped the ball into the net off of a rebound. The half ended with two more shots and a penalty corner by Princeton, but the Lions managed to go to the locker room still only trailing by one.
The second half began much like the first with the Lions mostly defending. Columbia continued to block shots, but the Tigers managed to find the back of the net off of a penalty corner 20 minutes into the half.
Down 2-0, Columbia called for a timeout. The defensive unit was performing well, but Princeton’s dominance was limiting the Lions’ offense.
“Once we were down by two goals, we had to take more chances and be slightly more aggressive in our play which meant there would be more opportunities for Princeton to counter against us,” Nelson-Nichols said.
Though the Lions looked to push the ball up the field, Princeton scored again a minute and a half after the timeout.
Columbia, however, created chances and succeeded in moving the ball to their offensive end. Senior forward Danielle Buttinger and first-year midfielder Brooke Gasser both got shots off, but neither could complete their attempts.
Princeton scored one more time with only six minutes left to play. Down 4-0, the Lions rallied together and brought the ball into Princeton’s defense half. Once again, Buttinger and Gasser each had a shot on goal but to no effect. Columbia attempted one last penalty corner in the last minute of the game but could not capitalize.
Friday’s loss brings field hockey’s Ivy League record to 2-1, while Princeton continues with a perfect 3-0.
The Lions will return to action this Friday against Penn at 3:30 p.m. in Philadelphia.