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Columbia junior goalkeeper Christie O'Hara (left) was sensational on Tuesday, earning her first shutout of the season.
Courtesy: Peter DeSandis

O'Hara Leads Field Hockey To 1-0 Shootout Win Over Lafayette

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 10/25/2011
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EASTON, Pa. - Erika Thompson, Gabby Kozlowski and Bridget DeSandis each scored in a shootout and Christie O'Hara was sensational in goal as the Columbia field hockey team grinded through a scoreless regulation and two overtimes for a 1-0 win over Lafayette on Tuesday night.

Columbia (8-6, 4-1 Ivy League) won its fourth straight and enjoyed a stellar performance by O'Hara, who earned her first shutout of the season and tallied nine saves in the win, not including the three stops she made in the shootout. Thompson, a first-year midfielder, scored as the Lions' first shooter. Kozlowski, who was named Ivy League Player of the Week Tuesday morning, scored as Columbia's third shooter to give her team a 2-0 advantage. After Lafayette's Maria Machalick put one in to draw the Leopards to within 2-1, Bridget DeSandis knocked in the game-winner

Lafayette (9-7, 4-0 Patriot League) had a 7-6 numbers advantage for the end of the first and the beginning of the second overtime, but Columbia's stout defense led by O'Hara and Katie DeSandis, who recorded her Ivy-League best fifth defensive save, stood firm.

The game started with a back-and-forth opening 11 minutes before the two teams began trading penalty corners. At 11:16, O'Hara recorded her first save of the day, turning away a shot by Brittany Blass off a penalty corner. Two minutes later, senior captain Desi shirt fired Columbia's first shot, getting the ball back after taking a Lions penalty corner, but Lafayette goalkeeper Jessica Deutsch made the save.

The Leopards took the ball down Columbia's end of the field and O'Hara saved another shot from Blass off a penalty corner at 14:44.

Columbia picked up the pace in the final 10 minutes of the first half with shots by junior Molly Andrews, sophomore Anna Tichy and senior captain Leti Freaney, but Deutsch made stops on all three.

O'Hara stood her ground during an aggressive Lafayette stretch from 55:25-59:23, recording saves on four shots by the Leopards.

Columbia made one final push to get a score in regulation, pushing the ball up in the 70th minute, but Tichy's shot at 69:46 was stopped by Deutsch.

The Lions remained on the offensive at the start of overtime, pushing the ball forward to set up a shot by Paige Simmons that Deutsch turned away.

Jaclyn White took Lafayette's only shot of the extra period at 82:49, but O'Hara came up with her seventh save of the night to keep the game scoreless.

After Columbia drew a yellow card at 83:48, the Lions went down one player to start the second the second overtime.

The Lions remained on the attack despite the numbers disadvantage. Junior Gabby Kozlowski's shot off a penalty corner at 86:12 went wide. At the 90:30 mark, O'Hara stopped a shot from Lafayette's Kelsey Mead.

Columbia had two more shots in the second overtime that went wide. After Tichy fired one wide at 93:53, Paige Simmons had a shot go wide off a penalty corner at 97:23.

The Lions survived one last rush from the Leopards with about one minute to go in the second overtime. Katie DeSandis made a big defensive save off a shot by Carolyn Cabrey at 98:57 and O'Hara followed that with a save as Cabrey tried to bank in the rebound. Cabrey's third shot off O'Hara's deflection went wide.

O'Hara, who was named to the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll for the fourth time this season Tuesday morning, earned her first shutout since a 2-0 win over Monmouth on Oct. 8, 2010.

The Lions return home on Friday to host Ivy League rival Yale at 6 p.m. in a battle between two teams tied for first place in the conference.

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