NEW YORK - The Columbia women's lacrosse team began a two game home stand today against Ivy League foe Cornell at Robert K. Kraft Field. Despite a 14-7 loss to the Big Red, Columbia's Paige Cuscovitch scored a team-high three goals for her third hat trick of the season. The Lions knew they had a big task ahead against undefeated Cornell and displayed a refreshing toughness on the field.
Cornell jumped out to a fast start to the game scoring three unanswered goals in the first ten minutes of action. At 14:13 in the first half, Columbia responded with a three goal run as well. Kacie Johnson scored two straight goals for the Lions to trim the early deficit. The Lions soon tied the score at 3-3 after a quick pass from Katie Angulo found senior Kelly Buechel for the goal at 8:06. The Big Red fired off another string of three goals to close the half and Columbia trailed 6-3 at the break.
"For anybody who saw the first half, you saw the new Columbia in terms of our fight and our ability to hold on to the ball, " said Columbia Head Coach of Lacrosse Liz Kittleman Jackson.
Cuscovitch took charge in the second half scoring two straight goals in seven minutes to cut the deficit to 7-5. Her first score came off the assist by Kaitlin Brophy at 26:45 and she quickly found the back of the net for a second goal at 23:35.
After a timeout by Cornell to stop the Columbia run, the Big Red responded with a pair of goals to extend its lead to 9-5. Kate Murphy looked to keep the Lions comeback spirit alive with a goal at 19:16.The Big Red used a 9-4 second half advantage in draw controls to outscore Columbia 5-1 in the last 13 minutes of play to hand the Lions a 14-7 loss.
"Overall I think we were a little inconsistent, but we certainly continued to fight and that is something I am very proud of this year, " said Kittleman Jackson.
Cornell posted eight different scorers led by Lindsey Toppe who scored a game high four goals. Columbia battled strong grabbing 32 ground balls and forced 12 Cornell turnovers. The Lions drop to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the Ivy League.
Up next, Columbia hosts Villanova on Wednesday, March 13 at 1 p.m. for a non-conference matchup at Robert K. Kraft Field.