NEW YORK - Led by two goals from senior forward Natalie Neshat, the Columbia women's soccer team capped its home-opening weekend with a 4-2 victory over Seton Hall at Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 27. Tying the record for the most goals scored by the Lions in the Tracey Bartholomew era, Columbia improves to 1-0-1 in its first homestand.
In a sensational first half display, the Lions' offensive aggression led to three goals through the midpoint of the period. The first score came on a beautiful header by senior Natalie Neshat on the ride side of the goal, finishing a well-placed cross from sophomore Emily Koe who notched her first assist of the season at 43:28.
Columbia continued to attack, including a couple of strong shots by sophomore Emma Anderson bouncing off the post. At 16:36, Holly Neshat turned an Anderson shot off the post into a scoring play for the Lions by finding twin-sister Natalie, who fired in her second score of the afternoon from just outside the left side of the box. Getting behind the defense with lightning speed less than a minute later (15:39) was junior Rachel Alexander, who received a perfectly-placed pass by Maddie Temares into the net for the pair's first points on the year.
The Pirates got off a couple looks of their own putting in two scores in the half as the Lions held a 3-2 lead at the break.
Columbia responded quickly in the second half as Koe maneuvered through a pair of Seton Hall defenders to blast in a goal from 25-yards out in the opening three minutes of play. With a 4-1 lead, the Lions' defense rose to the challenge in the second half, shutting out the Pirates. Starting in goal was Sophie Whitehouse who made two saves through 60 minutes of play, along with rookie Juliet Allen who made her collegiate debut in goal by collecting three saves in 29 minutes of play.
Up next, Columbia (1-0-1) heads west for a pair of road matches at Pepperdine on Friday, Sept.1 at 6 p.m. and at Loyola Marymount on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 4 p.m.