No. 8 field hockey (8–4 overall, 3–0 Ivy) put together a dominating performance to defeat Columbia (5–6, 1–2) by a score of 8–1 on Saturday afternoon at Bedford Field. The seven-goal win is the Tigers’ largest margin of victory since they defeated Brown last year 8–0.
The Tigers got the scoring going in the first quarter with sophomore fullback Claire Donovan knocking in her third goal of the season. Ali McCarthy scored in the first period too, on a long assist from first-year midfielder Sammy Popper. Columbia responded with a first-half goal of its own, leaving the score at 2–1 after the first 15 minutes.
Unwilling to give the Lions any chance at a victory, Princeton put on an offensive clinic in the second quarter. Clara Roth started things off with her eighth goal of the year and scored after she evaded a defender on the baseline. Shortly afterwards, Roth assisted Donovan, who increased the Tigers’ lead. Popper made the most of a Princeton corner late in the half, blasting a ball inserted by senior fullback Carlotta von Gierke past the Columbia goalie.
The strong offensive showing in the first half gave Princeton a 5–1 lead going into halftime, and Columbia wasn’t able to mount a comeback in the second half.
The Tigers put together plenty of opportunities in the third quarter, recording nine shots, but none of them found the back of the net. Princeton clearly fed off the energy of the crowd, who sat in the stands and stood ringing the field, as they continued to push on offense.
McCarthy added her second goal of the day in the fourth, redirecting a shot by sophomore striker Zoe Shephard. Senior striker Taylor Nolan added her first goal of the season on another Shephard assist. Popper put the finishing touches on the 8–1 victory for Princeton with her second goal of the game.
Princeton benefited throughout the game from a balanced offensive attack, with six different players scoring goals. Popper and Donovan led the way with two apiece.
The Tigers outshot the Lions 26–10 and came away with a dominant margin on corners, winning that battle 11–3.
With the win, Princeton remains undefeated in Ivy play. They are tied atop the standings with No. 14 Harvard (9–3, 3–0), with a showdown between the teams looming on Oct. 26 in Cambridge. Cornell and Penn are both one game back.
Princeton will be back in action Saturday as the team travels to Providence, R.I. to take on Brown (4–7, 1–2). The Bears suffered a 9–1 defeat at the hands of then-No.13 Harvard on Sunday. They were also beaten by Columbia 4–2 earlier this year, so, at least on paper, Princeton can expect to make light work of the Bears.