NEW YORK - On the first day of March, the Columbia women's lacrosse team kicked off the Ivy League season with a tough home game against Brown on a cold day at Robert K. Kraft Field. Despite the 9-6 loss, Paige Cuscovitch led the Lions with four goals for her first hat trick of the season. First-year Taylor Quinn was impressive with two goals of her own and an aggressive seven draw controls.
Brown struck early in the first half behind senior Bre Hudgins. The Bears scored four unanswered goals in the first half with Hudgins tallying a hat trick through the opening 20 minutes of play. With a 4-0 Brown lead, the Columbia offense found a quick groove in the closing five minutes of the first half as Quinn scored their first goal at 4:06. Cuscovitch followed with a score in the final 30 seconds of the half to trim the deficit to 4-2 at the break.
In the second half, the Bears got off to another quick start with two straight goals in in three minutes to extend its lead to 6-2. Quinn and Cuscovitch once again responded for the Lions with scores to bring the Lions within two goals, 6-4, at 26:16 remaining.
Cuscovitch played tough all afternoon and went on to tally two more goals for the game. The Bears would score three more goals in the half, including a fourth by Hudgins, to hold off the Lions 9-6 to hand Columbia its first defeat of the season.
Although the Lions dropped to 1-1 and 0-1 in conference play, the Columbia defense had a notable performance. The Lions held the Bears to half their goal per game average, forced eight turnovers and Colleen Packer posted eight saves in goal.
The Lions will begin a four-game road swing when they return to action on Saturday, March 8 at 3 p.m. against Cornell.