FRESNO, Calif. – The Columbia women’s lacrosse team capped its west coast trip with a win on Wednesday, March 19 as they took down Fresno State, 14-8. The Lions were impressive in their first road win of the season with seven different players finding the back of the net. Senior Paige Cuscovitch led the barrage with six points, highlighted by a career-high five goals to go along with an assist.
In the opening five minutes of play, the Lions grabbed early momentum with three unanswered goals. Jessie Ambrose fired in the first score of the game at 27:43 and Ashley Rinere followed with her first goal of the game off the free-position shot on the next possession at 27:09. About two minutes later, Ambrose found an open Paige Cuscovitch to get the senior going as she gave Columbia a 3-0 lead at 25:40.
The Bulldogs ended the drought with a score at 24:14. Columbia responded with a goal inside by Rinere, her second of the half, who finished the assist from Taylor Quinn. Fresno State once again trimmed their deficit to two with the team’s second score midway through the half, however the Lions once again continued to find each other as Kate Murphy scored on the Cuscovitch assist to extend the lead to 5-2 at 14:01.
At the eight-minute mark, Rinere returned the favor Quinn as she scored the Lions’ sixth goal of the game. Maggie Sinzer also found the back of the net in the half on the next possession to keep to Columbia offense rolling. In the final five minutes of the half, the Bulldogs posted its third goal as the Lions took a 7-3 lead at the break.
The Bulldogs came out firing to start the second half scoring back-to-back goals to bring the score to 7-5 at 23:00. Cuscucovitch, the Lion’s leading scorer this season, had a strong answer for the Bulldogs scoring an impressive three straight goals to once again extend the Columbia lead to 10-5 at 18:31.
After Fresno State’s Anjellica Fuccillo scored her third goal at the midpoint of the second half, Rinere posted a hat trick of her own with a score at 13:46. With the draw control fought for by Cuscovitch on the ensuing possession, it was no surprise that her hard work paid off for her fifth goal of the game at 13:04 to give the Lions a 12-6 advantage.
Murphy added an assist to her day after finding first-year Mariel Teague for her first career score and Rinere went on to post four goals for the second game with another score in the final three minutes of play. Although the Bulldogs saw scores from five different players, Columbia came away with the 14-8 victory
Quinn tallied a game-high four ground balls, with three in the first half, to add to an Ivy League leading total of 19 on the season. Collen Packer also anchored the defense in goal with three saves on the day.
With an impressive 5-5 shooting performance to aid a game-high six points, Cuscovitch jumped into the Columbia all-time points record books to rank ninth with a new career total of 107.
The Lions improved to 2-3 overall on the season with the win and will jump back into Ivy League play on Saturday, March 20 as they conclude their four-game road swing at Dartmouth at noon.