Senior Kacie Johnson opened the 2013 season scoring five goals, added two assists and posted a game-high seven points to lead the Columbia women's lacrosse team to a 15-4 home win over Mount St. Mary's on Saturday, Feb. 23. On a rainy afternoon at Robert K. Kraft Field, seven different Lions scored including hat tricks from both Paige Cuscovitch and Sarah Greenberg.
The Lions took a 7-1 first half lead and didn't look back en route to winning its first game to start the season at 1-0. For the second consecutive season, Columbia defeated Mount St. Mary's in their home opener and lead the all-time series 2-0.
Senior Kelly Buechel scored the inaugural goal of the game just three minutes in to the first half off an assist from Kate Murphy. The Mount responded with a goal from Erin Seipp at 24:33, but Columbia scored six straight goals in the half to grab a 7-1 lead at the break. Johnson led the pace with three scores in the first. Greenberg, Cuscovtich and Murphy also found the back of the net in the half as the Lions cease control early.
Following a Mountaineer goal to open the second half, Greenberg sparked the Lions offense scoring two straight goals, assisted by Cuscovitch and Heather Summers, to give Columbia a 9-2 lead. The Lions put together six unanswered goals from Cuscovitch (21:46), Johnson (21:40) and Charlotte Cipolleti (20:29), assisted by Johnson, to jump out to a 12-2 lead midway through the final half.
With 17:16 remaining, Kaitlyn Larrimore added a goal for the Mount just before Columbia posted three consecutive scores. Cuscovitch, Buechel, and Johnson scored the final goals for Columbia on the day as they captured the victory 15-4.
Even more impressive than the Lions offense was the stifling defense. Columbia forced 16 Mount St. Mary turnovers and held the Mount to scoreless drought of over 20 minutes in the first half. Senior goalkeeper Skylar Dabbar picked up four saves on the day and first-year goalkeeper Colleen Packer tallied three saves.
Up next, Columbia travels to Easton, Pa. on Wednesday, Feb. 27 to face Lafayette at 7 p.m.