NEW YORK – This past weekend the Columbia field hockey program was in action up at the Columbia Field Hockey Venue. The 2012 7v7 Tournament and Clinic was held on Saturday and the Lions took on Colgate, Fairfield, Quinnipiac, Rider and Rutgers in its spring tournament on Sunday.

Assistant coaches Katie Grant and Samantha Carr ran Saturday’s 7v7 Tournament and Clinic, which featured U16 and U19 athletes, high school teams and club squads. Members of the Columbia field hockey team also helped staff the event.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to host a spring tournament for club and high school athletes,” Carr said. “These young women truly enjoyed playing on our beautiful field hockey field at Baker Athletic Complex and interacting with current team members. We couldn't have asked for a better day.”

On Sunday, the Columbia field hockey team saw its first action against opposing teams since the conclusion of the 2011 season. The 25-minute contests against Colgate, Fairfield, Quinnipiac, Rider and Rutgers featured an impressive defensive effort by Columbia as they did not allow any regulation goals in any of the five games.

“We played against opponents who we will see this upcoming fall and had the opportunity to become aware of team playing styles and individual tendencies,” head coach Marybeth Freeman said. “I’m pleased with our overall focus as it was a solid day of hockey for us. Throughout the day, we progressed appropriately and made the changes necessary to finish the day with some strong finishes up front and well-executed passing patterns through the midfield. Our defense was consistent, not allowing a goal against in a tournament setting is pretty special.”

The 2012 Lions will feature 16 returners from last season’s squad, including 2011 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Mideast Region honorees Gabby Kozlowski and Christie O'Hara. Columbia will also welcome six exciting newcomers in its incoming group of first-years.

Columbia will take part in a six-team spring tournament at Hofstra this Saturday. Other teams participating include host Hofstra, Delaware, Drexel, Quinnipiac and Yale.