La Salle battled the Lions to a tie after Columbia led twice in the match.

Columbia Women’s Soccer (5-3-2, Ivy 1-1) simply couldn’t get the job done on Wednesday night against La Salle (6-6-1). Despite leading twice in the game, the Lions struggled to have a presence in the midfield and often fell on their back foot when the Explorers shifted into an attack. Yet, the team’s ability to recover kept them in the game even in its most difficult moments.

La Salle came out strong in the first half, pushing the Lion defenders back and keeping them on their toes. Kat Jordan (CC ’24) kept the team from being overwhelmed by the Explorers, often orchestrating winger attacks from the bottom of the center circle. Jordan also kept the La Salle keeper honest, taking seven shots, all from the top of the 18 yard box and out, throughout the course of the game. La Salle heavily took advantage of the game’s transition moments, often thriving when the ball was turned over in the midfield. The Explorers pounced on these opportunities, pressuring the Lion back line and stopping them from being involved in Columbia’s offense. Yet, the Lions still found a way to score in the 36th minute. Annie Diaz-Silveira (CC ’24) tapped the ball in on a goalkeeping error, putting Columbia up 1-0 and deflating the Explorers for the rest of the half. Despite La Salle’s offensive pressure, the Lions still tallied nine shots in the first half, largely due to Jordan testing the keeper.

Halftime Score: 1-0 Columbia

The Explorers started the second half similar to the first. Their offensive pressure took advantage of Columbia’s defensive stumbles, allowing La Salle to pin the back line and create space for themselves in the midfield. Eight minutes into the second half, La Salle found their equalizing goal, floating the ball just under the crossbar. The Lions, frustrated but determined, turned the game around, keeping possession of the ball and undertaking a commanding presence on the field. Passes were direct and hit with pace, while Lion runners flew in from the wings to get to through passes. Columbia found its second goal in the 78th minute when Jordan launched the ball in to the back post from just outside the box’s left corner. Mia Ferrentino (CC ’24), sprinting in, scored her first collegiate goal when the La Salle goalkeeper bobbled the ball. However, the Explorers were quick to retaliate just 36 seconds later after the Lions fouled inside the box, giving La Salle a penalty kick. The Explorers easily buried the ball into the back of the net after a well-taken penalty and kept themselves in the game. Columbia was unable to regain its lead for the third time in the game and the match finished in a disappointing but well-fought stalemate.

Final: 2-2 Draw

The women’s soccer team will no doubt quickly move on from their non-conference game against La Salle after using the time to test out tactics and positional changes. The Lions will play their next game in Philadelphia against the sixth place University of Pennsylvania Quakers (3-1-7, Ivy 0-0-2) on Saturday, October 8 at 2 pm.

Annie Diaz-Silveira via Mike McLaughlin/CUWS