NEW YORK - Katie DeSandis made a sprawling defensive stop in front of an open goal to prevent Cornell from tying the game with just four minutes left to play, and Gabby Kozlowski and Bridget DeSandis scored to give Columbia a 2-1 win over Cornell at the Columbia Field Hockey Venue on Friday, September 21.
The Lions controlled possession for much of the first period. Columbia got onto the board at 21:24, when Kozlowski deflected a pass from Paige Simmons over the diving Cornell goalie. The Lions took advantage of their 4-1 edge in first-half corners, scoring the game winner off another set play. Katie DeSandis pushed the ball to a waiting Christina Freibott, who served it to Bridget DeSandis for the goal. Columbia out-shot Cornell 10-1 in the first half, taking a 2-0 lead into the break.
"The leadership of not only the seniors, but all of our players, helped make this win a true team effort," said head field hockey coach, Marybeth Freeman.
Cornell answered agressively in the second half, earning two corners as the period began. Columbia's defense held strong, and the Lions' offense kept up the pressure, rattling off another six consecutive shots.
Just over the 55-minute mark, Cornell scored right after they called a timeout. Brittany Thompson scored to make it 2-1 at 55:39. Cornell continued the pressure and at 66:00, Thompson went to goal from the right side and her shot hit the post. As the ball bounced just left of the diving Columbia goalie, Christie O'Hara, Thompson had a shot at a three-quarters open net, but K. DeSandis stretched out for the defensive save.
"Defensively, our deep defense and midfield was very much aware of important recovery lines and staying engaged with the play after it broke down," Coach Freeman said.
Kozlowski and the Lions' front line held possession in the final 90 seconds to secure the win.
The Lions finished with a 9-5 advantage in corners and a 19-6 edge in shots.
Carolyn Horner led the Big Red with 10 saves in goal.
Columbia (5-2, 2-0 Ivy League) returns to action on Sunday, September 24, when they host Fairfield at 1 p.m.