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Women's soccer falls 1–0 to Columbia Lions

Women's soccer players standing in line with each girl's left arm on the left shoulder of the girl in front of them
Women's soccer honored their seniors at Saturday's game against Columbia.
Photo Courtesy of @PrincetonWsoc/Twitter.

Princeton women’s soccer (9–4–3 overall, 4–2–1 Ivy League) honored their seniors at the final game of the regular season against the Columbia Lions (9–3–3, 3–2–2) on Saturday. It was a must-win game for their opponents, and, with a 1–0 defeat of the Tigers, the Lions secured the final Ivy League tournament spot in Providence, R.I.. Princeton had already punched their ticket to Providence with a 2–0 win against Dartmouth on Saturday, Oct. 21.

The Tigers started the game out strong with an attacking chance in the first five minutes. A good cross led to a Princeton corner kick which dropped right in front of the goal, but the Tigers couldn’t capitalize. 


In the eighth minute, Princeton had dominated possession, with another corner in the 10th minute leading to a shot off the crossbar from senior defender Madison Curry. In the 12th, a shot from outside the box sailed just over the top of the net. Princeton exerted a lot of pressure on Columbia but couldn’t convert any of their chances into a score. 

The Lions finally escaped their defensive third in the 15th minute, but a great tackle from Curry stopped the fast break. Moments later, however, Columbia midfielder Kat Jordan would have a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box. Curving around the wall, the ball found the back of the net just out of reach of an attempted save from Princeton junior keeper Tyler McCamey. 

“Saturday’s game was a battle full of emotion on senior day, and we have to give credit to Columbia for finishing their chance,” senior midfielder Marissa Hart wrote to The Daily Princetonian. 

As the teams battled for control of the midfield, possession was shared throughout the rest of the first half. The next chance came in the 32nd minute when a long shot from junior forward Heather McNab was easily wrapped up by Columbia’s keeper Paige Nurkin. The Tigers continued to press at the end of the half, with shots from Curry and sophomore forward Drew Coomans in the final minutes. Despite their myriad of attacking chances, the Tigers entered halftime down 1–0. 

Princeton would not fare any better in the second half. Columbia took the opening kick and pressured early, with a shot over the crossbar in the 48th minute. Princeton attempted to equalize, with heavy pressure in the next few minutes and shots from sophomore forward Kelsee Wozniak and junior midfielder Lily Bryant. Wozniak’s ball was a touch high, and Bryant’s was easily wrapped up by Columbia’s keeper. In the 61st minute, Columbia striker Kendall McBride fired a shot that bounced off the left post.

It looked like Princeton might finally get on the board with back-to-back corner kicks in the 74th and 75th. Both balls looked threatening, but a disciplined defense and a header over the goal from Bryant left Princeton scoreless heading into the final minutes. Columbia took possession and attacked, with three shots and two corners, but the Tigers defense held up. While Princeton had a final chance with a late corner and shot from Curry, they couldn’t find the back of the net. The game ended 1–0 Columbia, who mobbed in celebration as they advanced. 


“We walked away from that game hoping we have the opportunity to play them again in the postseason,” Hart told the ‘Prince.’ 

The women’s soccer regular season is over, but there’s still more to look forward to. After their win, Columbia will move on to play No. 1–seeded Brown, while the Tigers will face the No. 7–seeded  Harvard for a spot in the Ivy League final. With a 1–1 draw against the Crimson in their last matchup, a very competitive game is expected. 

“We are incredibly excited about being a part of the first Ivy League tournament,” said Hart. “We are going in with full belief in our ability to take home the trophy. Princeton will play at 2 p.m. Friday in Providence, R.I.” 

Ryan Kirby is a contributor to the Sports section for the ‘Prince.’

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