NEW YORK - The Columbia women's soccer team will wrap up a five-game homestand Friday night at the Columbia Soccer Stadium, when it hosts Cornell in the Ivy League opener for both schools. Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.
Columbia enters the matchup against the Big Red winners in three of its last four games. Each victory over that period has come by way of shutout, beginning with a 2-0 downing of Sacred Heart Sept. 7 and continued with defeats of Fordham (2-0) and Marist (1-0) this past weekend.
Grace Redmon has started and played every minute in net for the Lions this season, garnering credit for all three shutouts, most in the Ivy League. The sophomore has recorded 32 saves this year, good for the second-highest total in the Ancient Eight. In front of Redmon, the Columbia defense has done a superb job of limiting opposing team's attacks. That defense is filled with experience in senior Isabel King and juniors Shannon FItzPatrick, Chelsea Ryan and Maya Marder.
Coleen Rizzo and Beverly Leon have led the offensive attack for Columbia through the first six games. Each has recorded two goals and an assist. Natalie Melo, who scored the game-winner against Marist, is tied with King and Tori Goode for second on the team in points at two.
Cornell makes the trip to New York City still in search of its first victory of the 2012 season. The Big Red is 0-7 following recent losses to Sacred Heart (2-1) and La Salle (4-0).
The Cornell offense has tallied eight goals this season, two more than Columbia, but has allowed opponents to score 25 times, while the Lions have held its foes to just six. Xandra Hompe and Jayann Gabrio have each scored twice this season to lead Cornell.
Tori Christ has played all but 20 minutes in net this season in goal for the Big Red. Christ paces the Ivy League in saves with 39, but she is also averaging 3.40 goals-against as Cornell has allowed its competitors to rip off 123 shots through eight games.
On Sunday, Columbia will make its first road trip since a Labor Day visit to Georgetown, heading to West Point, N.Y. to take on Army. The Black Knights stand at 4-6 on the season following two recent losses at the Under Armour Classic to Cal State Fullerton and No. 20 Long Beach State.
Kim An and Joey Molacek have each netted three goals this season, including two game-winners for Molacek. In net, Linda Ross has posted a 1.41 goals-against average and a pair of shutouts en route to a 4-5 record.
Army holds the edge in the all-time series, 12-7, but the Lions have been victorious in six of the last seven meetings between the two squads.