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Columbia celebrates Danielle Cosentino's (second from left) goal against Dartmouth on Saturday.
Courtesy: Peter DeSandis

Field Hockey Readies For Tough Test At Lafayette Tuesday

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NEW YORK - Fresh off a crucial 4-2 win over Dartmouth on Saturday, the Columbia field hockey team heads to Easton, Pa., on Tuesday to face a tough Lafayette squad in the Lions' final regular-season road game of 2011.

Columbia (7-6, 4-1 Ivy League) and Lafayette (9-6, 4-0 Patriot League) will square off at 5:30 p.m. The game will feature free live statistics through GoLeopards.com.

The Lions sit in a three-way tie for third place in the Ivy League after Saturday's road victory over Dartmouth. The win was Columbia's third straight. The Lions dominated the Big Green on all three lines and had a 12-4 penalty corner advantage. Junior forward Gabby Kozlowski led the way with two goals and one assist. Senior captain and forward Carson Christus and sophomore midfielder Danielle Cosentino also scored. Junior back Bridget DeSandis tallied one assist and one defensive save and junior midfielder Paige Simmons had one assist. Junior goalkeeper Christie O'Hara recorded nine saves and earned her fifth win of the year.

Lafayette also won its third straight game on Saturday with a 4-0 home shutout against LeHigh. Four different Leopards scored in the victory as the Lafayette dominated from start to finish with a 15-2 shot advantage and an 11-1 edge on penalty corners.

Columbia leads its all-time series against Lafayette, 6-5, including a thrilling 2-1 shootout victory over the Leopards last year at the Columbia Field Hockey Venue. O'Hara recorded 10 saves in the contest and Desi Scherf and Caitlin Mullins converted in the shootout.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kozlowski was named the Ivy League Player of the Week after her two-goal, one-assist performance in Columbia's win over Dartmouth. O'Hara was also named to the Weekly Honor Roll for the fourth time this season after she tallied nine saves against the Big Green.

For more on Kozlowski's selection, go here.

RANK AND FILE
Kozlowski ranks second in the Ivy League with 4.31 shots per game and her 10 goals are tied for fourth. The junior's 1.62 points per game is tied for sixth most. Kozlowski's 0.77 goals per game ranks 32nd among all Division I players.

Senior captain Leti Freaney is tied for the league lead with three game-winning goals and Kozlowski is tied for fourth with two.

Simmons and Bridget DeSandis are tied for ninth in the conference with five assists.

O'Hara's 8.55 saves per game is the third-best mark in the Ivy League and ranks 10th in the nation.

Junior Katie DeSandis and first-year Lauren Skudalski each have four defensive saves, which is tied for the league lead and 15th nationally. Bridget DeSandis is tied for fifth in the conference with two defensive saves. Columbia leads the Ivy League and is tied for seventh in the country with 11 defensive saves.

MOVIN' ON UP
With two goals against Dartmouth, Kozlowski moved up to second place on Columbia's all-time scoring list. She now has 30 career goals and passed Julia Garrison (29 goals, '11 CC) with her unassisted second goal on Saturday. Kozlowski now trails only all-time leader Nikki Campbell (40 goals, '02 CC).

With 10 goals on the season, Kozlowski became just the second Columbia player to have two double-digit goal seasons in a career, joining Campbell (1999, 2000, 2001). In 2010, Kozlowski set the school's single-season scoring record with 16 goals.

With five points against the Big Green, Kozlowski also moved out of a tie with Melissa Macomber ('03 CC) for third place on the all-time points list.  She now has 64 points for her career and sits alone in third place behind just Campbell (96) and Garrison (71).

Christus scored her 12th career goal in the win and moved into a tie with Ramie Merrill ('07 CC) for seventh on the all-time list.

SCOUTING LAFAYETTE
Lafayette is a very potent team that will test Columbia in all aspects. The Leopards have scored four or more goals in five of their last seven games. They have tallied five shutout victories as well this season and sit in first place in the Patriot League.

The Leopards' excellent passing skills are reflected in their Patriot League-best 30 assists (2.0 per game, 34th in the nation). Lafayette spreads the ball around well as it features four players with at least six goals.

Deanna DiCroce leads the team with 10 goals and seven asssists for 27 points. DiCroce also has three game-winners. Kelsey mead has eight goals and three assists for 19 points. The Leopoards top set-up specialists include Brittany Blass (four goals, five assists) and Emily Valeo (three goals seen asssists). Carolyn Cabrey and Aimee Smith have scored six times each.

Lafayette has played two goalies this season. Mara Kish (5-3, two shutouts) leads the team with 38 saves and 1.77 goals allowed per game over 13 games played. Jessica Deutsch (4-3) has played in eight games and has recorded 33 saves while allowing 2.42 goals per game.

UP NEXT
Columbia hosts a pair of games this weekend, taking on Yale on Friday and Villanova on Sunday. Friday's game starts at 6 p.m. and will be the Lions' second straight Ivy League game in which both they and their opponent are tied for first place. Sunday's contest is slated for 1 p.m.

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