NEW YORK, N.Y. - Sophomore Paige Cuscovitch scored four goals to lead the Columbia women's lacrosse team to a 14-5 win over Mount St. Mary's on Wednesday, February 29 at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium in their 2012 home opener.
The Lions jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first ten minutes of the first half. Junior Kacie Johnson scored the first goal of the game at 29:31 to ignite the offense. After causing a Mountaineer turnover, Cuscovitch capitalized with a score at 19:54.
The Mountianeers fired back with a goal from Kaitlyn Larrimore at 18:43 and a free position goal from Lindsay Diaz to tie the game at 2-2 at 17:24 in the first half. Columbia took a 3-2 lead at 15:00, behind Johnson's second goal of the game, off the assist from first-year Sarah Greenberg. Cuscovitch tallied her second goal of the game at 12:10 to give the Lions a two score lead (4-2).
Columbia continued their offensive charge, when Johnson assisted two goals to first-years Kaitlin Brophy at 7:43 and Stevie Wells at 5:23. With 3:28 left in the half, Mount St. Mary's scored its third goal of the game on a free position shot by Nicole Price. Columbia senior Taylor Gattinella retaliated with a goal with 48 seconds remaining in the half to give Columbia a 7-3 lead at the break.
Gattinella began the second half much like she ended the first, scoring her second goal of the game almost two minutes into the period at 28:38, off the Johnson assist. Cuscovitch scored two goals in less than two minutes to push the lead to 10-4, after Mount St. Mary's Larrimore scored her second goal of the game. With a free position goal at 25:37 and another at 24:35 in the second half, Cuscovitch tallied a game-high four goals.
On her way to a game-high seven points, including two goals and five assists, Johnson assisted her second pair of goals to a Greenberg score at 18:05 and a goal by sophomore Ashley Rinere at 12:43. Senior Jenny Schiff added the final two goals for the Lions. The Mountaineers scored with 40 seconds left in the game for the 14-5 margin.
Columbia improves to 1-1 on the season and will host its Ivy League opener versus Brown at 1 p.m. on Saturday.