Women's soccer suffered its first Ivy League loss this weekend in a close contest against Columbia with a final score of 1-0. The game leaves the Tigers (5-4-3 overall, 2-1-1 Ivy League) in a tie with Columbia (6-2-5, 2-1-1) for second place in the Ivy League. Saturday night’s shutout marked the end of the team’s five-game undefeated streak. The team had not seen a shutout since the match against Seton Hall on Sept. 8.
“Columbia is always a hard place to play. Their team is very physical and we had more problems,” said senior goalkeeper Darcy Hargadon.
The only goal of the game was scored in the 68th minute by Columbia forward/midfielder Holly Neshat. After receiving a pass from forward Coleen Rizzo off of a corner kick, Neshat managed to push through the Princeton defense to have a one-on-one with Princeton's Hargadon, aiming the ball just out of the visiting keeper's reach and ending her shutout streak. Hargadon had not allowed any goals since the second half of her team's game against Lehigh on Oct. 8.
Hargadon remarked, “We could have been more physical and won more balls in the middle. It was tough for us to get possession and normally that’s what leads to us scoring.”
In spite of the loss, the Tigers played hard, outpacing Columbia in shots taken by a margin of 12-4. With such a strong opposing defense, Princeton’s leading offensive duo, sophomore forward Tyler Lussi and senior defender Lauren Lazo, failed to score, but still managed to co-lead the team in shots taken, each of them with four. The two players have scored 17 of the team’s 22 goals so far this season, and have managed nine goals in the previous three games.
“It was less about their defense and more about us. We weren’t clicking in the way we normally do.” said Hargadon. “It was a wake up call for us. Everything had been going so well and we underestimated how hard Columbia would play against us. We can’t take anything for granted. We have to able to match them and get to the place where we can play our own brand of soccer.”
The Tigers will have a chance to make up their loss next weekend, facing off against league leader Harvard. The Orange and Black still have plenty of chances to move up in the Ivy League standings. At this point, just over halfway through the Ivy League schedule, there are five teams within two games of the top, with Dartmouth and Yale following closely behind Harvard, Columbia and Princeton.
Looking forward, Hargadon said, “Even though it was a hard loss for us, it doesn’t change our outlook on the season. It’s a setback but we’re ready to regroup and get past it.”