GAME NOTES (.pdf)
NEW YORK - The Columbia field hockey team opens up year five of the Marybeth Freeman era this weekend with a home contest against La Salle on Friday, Sep. 5 before squaring off against the defending national champions, No. 3 Connecticut on Sunday, Sep. 7.
COLUMBIA VS. LA SALLE
FRIDAY, SEP. 5 - 5 P.M.
SCOUTING THE EXPLORERS
La Salle was blanked it its first two games of the season at the Lowell Tournament, hosted by UMass-Lowell last weekend. The Explorers fell, 1-0, to Holy Cross in their seasond debut after the Crusaders converted on a penalty stroke in the second half. The host Riverhawks potted a pair of goals in the final stanza on Aug. 31 to send La Salle back to Philadelphia 0-2.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
UConn faced stiff competition against No. 14 Northwestern to begin its national title defense and came away with a 3-2 overtime victory. The Huskies extended their winning streak to nine games, dating back to 2013. Despite outshooting the Wildcats, 28-6, Connecticut trailed for the bulk of the action until Charlotte Veitner’s gamewinner in the 82nd minute. Prior to taking on the Lions, the Huskies will face No. 6 Penn State at home on Sep. 6.
LIONS IN SEASON OPENERS
Columbia is an even 9-9 in season openers after winning its 2013 debut, 5-0, against Longwood. In home debuts, the Lions are 12-6, and have come away victorious in four-straight in their first contests at the Baker Athletics Complex.
OH CAPTAINS, MY CAPTAINS
Seniors Zoe Blake and Lauren Skudalski along with junior Christina Freibott will serve as tri-captains this season for Columbia. Skudalski is in her second year on the team’s leadership council.
LOOK WHO'S BACK
Columbia returns a total of 17 players from last year’s squad, which comprised 86 percent of its scoring in 2013. Additionally, both primary goaltenders senior Marlee Silverstein and Kimberly Pianucci along with sophomore Kendall Kuntz are back vying for time in net for the Lions.
FIRST-YEAR FIVE PACK
Five members of the Class of 2018 have been added to the roster for 2014. The quintet includes backs Maeve Doherty and Rebecca Pope, and midfielders Michelle Thompson, Lauren Crane and Whitney Hartstone.
PACING THE SIDELINES
Marybeth Freeman returns for her fifth season at the helm of the Lions’ field hockey program. Caroline Nichols is back in charge of the Columbia defense for her third season after wrapping up a stellar playing career with the U.S. National Team this summer. Megan Shea will work with the squad’s forwards and joins Freeman’s staff after spending the last three years with her alma mater, New Hampshire.