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NEW YORK - A tough battle with local foe Hofstra (0-2-1) resulted in a 1-1 draw on Friday, Aug. 27 for the Columbia women's soccer team. Each side of the pitch had dazzling moments for the Lions in their home opener at Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium and the Lion's overall team depth made a welcomed strong statement.  Taylor Penn and Bailey Peacock made their first career starts for the Lions,  a pair of first-year players in Cayla Davis and Gracie Wall saw their first collegiate action and six players contributed off the bench.

The Lions led a highly active offense in the first half sending eight shots towards the net. The aggression paid off with a sensational goal at the 16:22 mark behind a beautiful display of team chemistry. From just inside midfield, Stephanie Shin placed a sailing free kick near the top of the box where Caroline Militello leaped to tap a header to a cutting Amaris Hemmings on the right wing. With quickness and poise, Hemmings fired in the first Columbia goal of the season.

The speed of the Lions was also on display on defense with constant disruption of the Hofstra offense. Peacock chased down a key team save in the period to deny an early Hofstra scoring attempt. After some physical play near the net, Hofstra was awarded a penalty kick with under 10  minutes to play in the first half. Kristen Desmond put Hofstra on the board to tie the game at 1-1 as the score remained tied heading into halftime.

Both teams battled for an edge in the second period, each firing seven shots. Columbia fought for several good looks, including a shot by Emma Anderson that bounced off the crossbar and a rebound attempt by Emily Koe on the play, but the Pride stood solid. Led by a game-high nine saves by Sophie Whitehouse, the Columbia defense also rose to the challenge by denying an additional five attempts by the Hofstra offense through both overtimes.

Up next, Columbia (0-0-1) returns to Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium on Sunday, August 27 at 1 p.m. to face Seton Hall.