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Lula O'Donnell / Columbia Daily Spectator

Field hockey will hope to replicate its success against Fairfield last Sunday as it hosts Dartmouth and Villanova this weekend.

Field hockey will host Dartmouth and Villanova at the Baker Athletics Complex this weekend.

The Lions (7-5, 2-2 Ivy) will come into Friday’s showdown ranked fourth in the Ivy League and will hope to improve that standing against the Big Green (4-8, 1-3 Ivy) in their fifth Ivy League game of the season.

When the two teams met last year, Columbia earned a 2-0 lead before Dartmouth tied the game with two goals of their own. The match went into overtime, and the Big Green was able to secure the win on a rebound.

But before that, in 2016, Columbia came away with a 5-1 victory over Dartmouth—a result the Lions look to emulate this weekend. Senior forward Danielle Buttinger scored two goals during that matchup, and her experience could prove vital during Friday’s game.

Columbia will then face Villanova (6-8, 2-3 Big East) on Sunday. Since the Wildcats play in the Big East Conference, the Light Blue has not competed against them in the last three years. The last time the two teams met was in 2014, when the Lions beat the Wildcats 5-2.

“We are excited to broaden the type of competition we face,” head coach Caroline Nelson-Nichols said. “We expect Villanova to be fast and aggressive and look forward to a great battle.”

Villanova has only played one Ivy League team so far this season: Penn. The Wildcats fell to the Quakers 2-1—a better outcome than Columbia’s 0-2 loss last Friday.

The Lions are coming off of Sunday’s double overtime and shootout win over Fairfield. The nonconference win broke Columbia’s two-game losing streak and put them back on track. First-year midfielder Emily Maclean was especially dominant on Sunday, supplying solid defense and a goal to raise the Lions to victory. She, along with senior goalie Katie Dempsey, will anchor Columbia’s defense this weekend.

On the attacking front, junior midfielder Jennifer Trieschman will continue to be a threat. On Sunday, Trieschman came up with the tying goal to bring the game into overtime. Her disposition toward big moments like these will be especially important during the Dartmouth match.

“We are always working on how to be more aggressive and more threatening,” Nelson-Nichols said of the Lions’ strategy for this weekend. “Defensively, we are working on being patient in our tackling.”

Friday’s game against Dartmouth begins at 2 p.m., while Sunday’s matchup against Villanova will begin at 1 p.m.

dunia.habboosh@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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