NEW YORK - For the second game this season, Natalie Melo answered with a game-winning goal in the second overtime to hand Columbia a 3-2 win over Lafayette on Tuesday night. Melo had a big day with a game-high two goals and an assist. The Lions held the Leopards scoreless for the remaining 70 minutes of the match to complete the comeback win.
In a game of several momentum swings, the Lions struck first with a goal halfway through the first when Beverly Leon set up Melo for the opening score with a rocket shot from the top of the box. Columbia took a 1-0 lead at the 20 minute mark.
At the 32nd minute mark, the Lafayette attack surged with Allie Torru squeezing a high shot through the net to tie the game at 1-1. The Leopards kept the pressure on after capitalizing on a free kick four minutes later, as Alex Reeisinger scored to give them a 2-1 lead. The first half proved to be a tough battle for two teams looking for an edge. Both teams tallied seven shots and two saves in the first 45 minutes, but Lafayette held on to a one-goal lead at the break.
In the second half, Columbia saw a number of solid opportunities to trim the lead. At the 65th minute, the Lions tied the game with a quick touch header by Alexa Yow off of Melo’s free kick from just outside the right of the box.
With Grace Redmon in goal in the second half, the junior grabbed three saves to help hold Lafayette scoreless to send the game into overtime.
Both teams continued to battle in the first overtime, but in the second overtime the Lions would find the edge. Erin Falk moved in on the right side and delivered a sensational pass to Melo who quickly shot the ball for the game winner at 106th minute.
The Lions improved to 7-4-2 on the season with the win and capped its non-conference slate with five straight victories.
Up next, Columbia returns to Ivy League play as they travel to Princeton on Saturday, Oct. 19 for a 1 p.m. match.