NEW YORK – The Columbia field hockey team wrapped spring play this past Saturday at the Asics Invitational hosted by Hofstra.

The spring event featured Columbia, Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra, Quinnipiac and Yale and was set up in a six-team tournament style. The Lions took third place.

"The competition was great and we came out strong against local rival Hofstra,” Columbia head coach Marybeth Freeman said. “Overall, our passing patterns, combination style of hockey and aggressiveness in our defense and press allowed us to set the tempo for the day."

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.

Freeman and the Columbia field hockey coaching staff were pleased with the progress the team made this spring against live competition.

"We finished our spring competitions with strong team performances,” Freeman said. “We had a smaller squad this spring which allowed every member to gain valuable playing time and grow through their on-field experiences. Throughout the spring, the staff has seen substantial technical development within the team and the younger players were able to implement our tactical plan. This group has worked exceedingly hard this spring and if this energy is foreshadowing for our 2012 season, the staff is very excited."