PHILADELPHIA – Senior Gabby Kozlowski scored on a breakaway in the 87th minute to lift the Columbia field hockey team to a dramatic 3-2 double overtime victory at Penn on Friday night. The Lions (8-4, 3-1) trailed twice in the contest before Kozlowski played the role of hero, marking the squad’s fifth comeback win of the season.
Kozlowski received a pass from Katie DeSandis and was left one-on-one with the Quakers (6-6, 1-3) netminder Carly Sokach. The attacker worked her way past Carly Sokach and scored her ninth goal of the year to send Columbia home happy.
The Voorhees, N.J. native was dominant throughout the contest rifling off eight shots, seven of which were on target. Kozlowski now has 39 career tallies, putting her one shy of tying Nikki Campbell’s all-time record.
"It was a battle from the start and I was happy with how our athletes handled themselves when faced with a deficit," head coach Marybeth Freeman said. "We fought hard, stayed the course, and at the end of the half were able to get on the board."
The Quakers drew first blood, scoring in the 14th minute. A long shot sailed over the head goalkeeper Christie O’Hara, and Emily Corcoran was standing on the doorstep to tip it in.
Columbia settled in after failing behind, pushing the attack in the Penn end, but could come up with the tying goal until the final minute of the period. Off a penalty corner, Danielle Cosentino redirected a shot by Paige Simmons to even the score just 22 seconds before halftime.
Despite a strong start to the second half, Columbia could not generate another goal. In the 55th minute that proved costly as Sunny Stirewalt scored an unassisted goal to put the Quakers ahead, 2-1.
Less than three minutes later, Christina Freibott provided the equalizer after working her way into the goal box and beating the goalkeeper five-hole to give Columbia new life. That goal would lead to several other scoring chances, but neither team could find the back of the net as the teams went into the extra time.
Simmons would generate the best scoring chance in the first overtime, forcing Penn goalie Carly Sokach to make a sprawling kick save in the 81st minute. After 85 minutes, the score remained knotted to set up the game-winner early in the second OT.
"We made some pretty small, but critical, adjustments at the half which proved to be the difference for us," Freeman said. "Paige Simmons played a terrific game and put us in position to generate scoring opportunites."
"I think we showed a lot of confidence in ourselves tonight and I am proud that we put our words into action."
Columbia held an 18-10 edge on shots and a 16-7 advantage on penalty corners. O’Hara made five saves in the game to improve her record to 7-3.
The Lions will return home to the Columbia Field Hockey Venue this Sunday, October 14, against No. 15 Drexel. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m.