Lacrosse to Face #12 Princeton and #18 Dartmouth This Week
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

NEW YORK - The Columbia women's lacrosse team has a challenging week ahead of them as they will face two top-20 teams.  On Wednesday, March 23, the Lions will travel to Princeton, N.J. to take on the No. 12 Tigers at 7 p.m. Columbia will then host No. 18 Dartmouth on Saturday, March 26 at Robert K. Kraft Field at 11 a.m.

Columbia fell in an early 6-1 hole, but slowly clawed its way back to trail 7-6 entering the halftime break. The Lions took their first lead just under two minutes into the second half on a goal by Gabrielle Geronimos. The two teams continued to trade goals, as Columbia's lead was never larger than two.  George Mason tied the game a 13-13 with 1:13 to play, ultimately sending the game to overtime.  Neither team managed to score in the first six-minute period, but it was Mason's Anna Kopecka that scored the game winner 1:28 into the second overtime for the sudden victory win. 

Kacie Johnson led the Lions with three goals, three assists and a game-high six draw controls.

Princeton is 3-3 overall this season, and 1-0 in Ivy League action.  The Tigers jumped up three spots in the latest poll and are coming off a 10-9 setback at No. 8 Virginia.  Princeton's offense features a well-balanced mix as five players who have at least 10 points so far this season.  Lizzy Drumm has a team-high 13 goals and 16 draw controls, Jaci Gassaway leads the team with 17 points on nine goals and eight assists, and sophomore midfielder Caroline Rehfuss has a team-high nine caused turnovers.  Erin Tochihara has played all 366:00 minutes in goal and sports a 9.84 goals against average in addition to leading the team with 13 groundballs.

Dartmouth is 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the conference.  The Big Green opened the season with three straight wins, but have dropped their last two. The team will play Oregon on Wednesday in Hanover, N.H. before traveling to New York for Saturday morning's game.  Ten different players have registered at least a point for Dartmouth, with Greta Meyer leading the way with 11 goals and four assists for 15 points. Hilary Smith has a team-high eight caused turnovers, while Sarah Plumb and Kelsey Johnson have both won 12 groundballs this season. Kriste Giovanniello has played every minute in goal and holds an impressive 8.60 goals against average.

Taylor Gattinella and Olivia Mann are tied for first on the team with 13 goals while Johnson has a team-high 16 points on a balanced nine goals and seven assists.  Junior co-captain Gattinella also leads the team in groundballs and draw controls with 11 in each category, and Johnson and Flannery Gallagher both have a team-high six caused turnovers.

Next week, Columbia will host American on Wednesday, March 30 at 2 p.m. and No. 4 Penn on Sunday, April 3 at 11 a.m.