COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Columbia field hockey team was edged by No. 20 American, 4-1, to conclude play at the Terrapin Invitational on Sunday afternoon. The Lions record falls to 2-2 on the season.
"When you come out flat against a good, solid and physical team like American, they will capitalize," said head coach Marybeth Freeman. "We definitely had our chances, but we made it hard on ourselves when we lacked communication."
The Eagles (4-2) fired the first five shots of the game and went ahead 2-0 on goals from Shelly Montgomery and Rebecca Trehame.
After a timeout, Columbia regrouped and started to generate some offense and created chances. The Lions cut the deficit in half when Christina Freibott connected with Zoe Blake on a penalty corner in the 20th minute to make it 2-1. The score was the second of the season for Blake.
In the second half, Columbia forced the issue right away with four shots, three on net, but American netminder Ashley Dalisera was up to the task to keep her team in front.
The Eagles bounced back after the Lions flurry, extending the margin to 3-1 on a Katie Lonsky goal off a two-on-one opportunity. American continued to apply the pressure, but Columbia’s defense was up to the task, blocking shots and using some big saves from goalie Kimberly Pianucci to stay in the game.
However, the Lions could not pull any closer and the Eagles came up with a goal in the final minute to ice the contest.
American held a 24-8 advantage in shots. Liz Malone and Blake had three shots apiece to tie for the team lead. Pianucci made seven stops.
"Yes, it was a challenging weekend," Freeman said. "We would have liked to have put all the pieces together, but to have the opportunity to play two high-caliber teams is an incredible opportunity to learn and apply what we learned moving forward. I know our players will embrace that."
The Lions will play in front of their home crowd for the first time this season when they begin the Ivy League slate against Brown on Friday, Sep. 20 at the Columbia Field Hockey Stadium. Game-time is slated for 5 p.m.