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POSTGAME INTERVIEW WITH MARYBETH FREEMAN
NEW YORK – Another Friday, another overtime come-from-behind victory by the Columbia field hockey team. Down by two goals in the second half, the Lions fought back and Liz Cruz provided the game-winner in the 83rd minute to lift Columbia to a 4-3 victory and send Penn home with its first Ivy League loss of the season.
Junior Lauren Skudalski provided two goals and added a defensive save. Sophomore Christina Freibott posted three assists, including the clincher.
With just under three minutes remaining, Freibott quickly put the ball back in play after a foul and sent a crossing pass to Cruz, who was wide open on the left side of the goal mouth and ended the game for her first score of the year.
The first half was fast-paced with both teams countering on the attack. Columbia’s (6-7, 2-2) backfield defended well out of the gate, blocking the first four shot attempts by the Quakers (9-3, 3-1).
The Lions hard work paid off on the other end when Skudalski deflected a pass from Leah Matthews out of mid-air (with her stick below the waist) to give Columbia a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.
Four minutes later, Penn drew level off a penalty corner. Emily Corcoran set the ball at the top of the circle and passed to the left where Jasmine Cole rifled a shot into the cage for her 14th goal of the season.
Cole struck again in the 23rd minute off a similar play, firing a blast from the left wing to give the Quakers a 2-1 edge, a lead they would hold into the break.
Julie Tahan added an insurance goal for Penn in the 41st minute, picking up a loose ball and beating a sprawling Kimberly Piannuci in goal. However, just like last Friday night the Lions would not go quietly.
Skudalski netted her second of the game in the 52nd minute, redirecting a Freibott pass into the goal to cut the deficit in half. Just under 10 minutes later, Lindsey Walter provided the equalizer when Freibott fed the sophomore with a centering feed to force the extra session.
Penn held a 19-16 edge in shots and a 9-7 advantage in penalty corners. Pianucci picked up the win, making six saves.
The Lions will wrap up their five-game home stand against Delaware on Sunday, Oct. 20 for their Think Pink game. The contest is slated for a 1 p.m. start.