NEW YORK - On Sunday, Feb. 23, the Columbia women’s lacrosse team will kick-off its 2014 season at home with a local matchup against LIU Brooklyn. The 1 p.m. home opener against the Blackbirds will be an exciting debut for an enthused Columbia squad at Robert K. Kraft Field under the leadership of head coach Liz Kittleman Jackson in her third season.
ABOUT THE LIONS
The Lions will present a melting pot of strong experience and new talent this season. Despite losing the best offensive player in program history in Kacie Johnson ‘13CC, Columbia returns three of their top five point scorers in captains Paige Cuscovitch (32), Ashley Rinere (15) and junior Katie Angulo (13).
Cuscovitch, a second team All-Ivy League selection, continued her trajectory into one of the team leaders in 2013. She finished the year at the top of conference in groundballs with 47 and helped the Lions lead the league in the category with 301. The Longmeadow, Mass. native broke the program's single-season record for caused turnovers with 38, surpassing Amanda Goodhart's (’12CC) mark of 29 set in 2012. Her season totals in both groundballs and caused turnovers, ranked third best in the nation.
The Lions’ defense also looks charged for the season with another mix of new faces and seasoned players. Columbia led the Ivy League in caused turnovers with 146 in 2013. In only her first season, goalie Colleen Packer played in 14 games and started seven for a tally of 69 saves. Veteran defenders Anjuli DeWakar and Rinere will join the young goalie to anchor the Lion’s defensive pressure.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Packer & DeWakar Talks New Defense This Season
Joining the staff this year as an assistant coach is former Yale University men’s lacrosse goalie coach Brian Schneider.
“Coming from the Yale men's team, Brian brings a unique outlook on the game and he has a genuine enthusiasm for helping our players get better everyday. Brian is a true teacher and an excellent mentor, and I'm excited that our players will have exposure to his expertise on building a championship caliber team, " said Kittleman Jackson.
INSIDE THE SERIES
These two New York City teams will compete for the first time in program history on Sunday afternoon.
|COLUMBIA (2013)||Team Matchup||LIU BROOKLYN
|9.87||Goals Per Game||5.00|
|Paige Cuscovitch (32 pts.)||Leading Scorer||Jenn Peters (3 pts.)|
|Colleen Packer (2-5) (.411 save %)||Goalkeeper||Alexis Maldonado (0-1) (.261 save%)|
ABOUT LIU BROOKLYN
The Blackbirds are looking to move forward from a 0-16 season in 2013. To date, LIU is still looking for its first win since 2012 having lost its season opener to Lasalle, 5-17, last week. Before taking on the Lions on Sunday, the Blackbirds will travel to St. Joseph’s on Friday to begin its weekend slate.