RICHMOND, Va. - Liz Malone tipped home a pass from Gabby Kozlowski with 12 minutes to go in regulation but VCU regained the lead eight minutes later to capture a 2-1 victory over Columbia on Sunday afternoon.
Like it did on Friday at Richmond, Columbia began the first half in solid fashion. The Lions peppered VCU goalkeeper Megan Botteri with five shots on goal in the first half but Botteri was equal to the onslaught.
VCU had four shots on goal in the first half and slipped its first shot into the back of the cage to take a 1-0 lead at the 15:14 mark in the first half.
Columbia goalkeeper Christie O'Hara made three saves in the first half and made six stops in the second half to allow Columbia to create the tying goal.
The Lions had three corners in the second half and were knocking on the door as time ticked down. With the clock under 13 minutes in the second half, Malone pounced on a loose ball in the circle and ripped it past Botteri to knot the score at 1-1.
The Rams kept the ball in their offensive zone after Columbia's goal and ultimately scored the go-ahead goal with 4:04 left in the game. Kendall Farino just reentered the game and had her long shot redirected by Kelsey Scherrer to make it a 2-1 game.
In the final minutes, Columbia sent an extra field player to gain the offensive advantage. Malone and Kozlowski each fired a shot on goal and the Lions had a penalty corner with a minute remaining but could not tally the equalizer.
"This weekend taught us a lot and we'll take these adjustment areas and move forward this week before our next two home games," head coach Marybeth Freeman said after the game.
O'Hara made nine saves in goal for the Lions while Botteri saved 10 shots for VCU, which won its second straight game to open its season.
"There is no doubt our athletes put forth effort, but we need to be more productive when we have clear opportunities to attack," Freeman continued. "Adversity from this weekend will strengthen us as a squad and I'm looking forward to moving in a positive direction from here on out."
It was the second straight one-goal setback for the Lions against a pair of strong opponents on their opening weekend on the road. Columbia returns home on Saturday, September 8 with a game against Bucknell at 1 p.m.