NEW YORK – Columbia field hockey head coach Marybeth Freeman has announced that Leah Matthews will join the Lions this fall after spending one year at Wake Forest.

"We're happy to have Leah join our program starting in 2013,” Freeman said. “Leah is eager to challenge herself academically and she's excited to be a contributing member to our squad. Her on field experiences while at Wake Forest will carry over nicely to our program and I know she is looking forward to excelling on and off the field."

Matthews saw action in 18 games last season for the Demon Deacons as a midfielder, registering four shots.

At Jamesville High School in Williamsburg, Va., Matthews earned First Team All-State, All-Region and All-District honors in her four-year varsity career. Leading the team in assists in each of her four seasons, she was named the 2011 Virginia Gazette Player of the Year and garnered First Team honors on the Daily Press All-Star team in 2010 and 2011. Matthews also participated in the USA Field Hockey National Futures Championship five times, placing second in 2007.

Academically, she was an AP Scholar and was placed on the honor roll in each of her four years in high school. Her parents are Mara and Michael Matthews.