Guest Writer Eva Wuerth recounts The Columbia Lion’s continued winning streak with a 5-0 triumph against the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Highlanders last Wednesday night.
Since Columbia’s only loss this season against Santa Clara University, the team has scored 15 goals across three straight victories. With this as their sixth win of the season, they’re looking to be a powerhouse before Ivy League play begins in just over a week.
A strong offensive start straight from the whistle kept the Lions in the Highlander’s half for the first 20 minutes, pressing high on the left wing as they attacked. With a composed defense and outside backs high on the wings, Columbia kept the ball high and wide, maintaining a dominating possession of the ball. Tied 0-0 at 25 minutes in, the Lions looked to attack; at 27 minutes in, they capitalized, with Ania Prussak (CC ‘25) volleying a pass to holding midfielder Grace Hurren (BC ‘24), who flicked it mid-air into the lower right corner off the sole of her cleat, giving the Lions a dramatic 1-0 lead. The Highlanders, responding quickly with a change of pace, pressed high on the Lions throughout the last ten minutes of the half with multiple attempts on goal. Columbia’s defensive composure and offensive momentum, however, lead them to their second goal of the night only two minutes before the half, as Madi Pilla (CC ‘24) on the right assisted Shira Cohen (CC ‘25) on the left wing, who quickly dribbled up the line and got a clean shot off into the lower left corner, roc`keting the ball past Highlander’s keeper to leave Colubmia with a 2-0 lead at the half.
Half: Columbia 2, NJIT 0
The Lion’s momentum only continued into the second half as both teams saw an increase in physicality on the field. 17 minutes in, center-back Justina Bitzer (CC ‘26) found herself with space and a clear shot at 30 yards out and buried the ball into the bottom left corner. Halfway through the half, with 28 minutes left, Madi Pilla (CC ‘24) tipped the ball off to Nata Ramirez (CC ’24) around the midfield, who dribbled her way through multiple Highlander defenders, then faced the keeper one-on-one and slid the ball just past her gloves on the right. With a 4-0 lead, the Lions were unstoppable, and dominated in possession for the last stretch of the game. With only five minutes left, Spencer Robbins (CC ‘25) assisted Shira Cohen’s (CC ‘25) second goal of the night, crossing it from the left wing to the top of the box, where Cohen volleyed it directly into goal, tearing it past NJIT’s keeper. While Columbia fans weren’t exactly biting their nails this half, the Lions definitely knew how to add some flair to the game—I saw some jaws drop.
Final Score: Columbia 5, NJIT 0
The team will next face Providence College at 6 pm away on Saturday, September 16, before beginning Ivy League play against UPenn at home.
Columbia Women’s Soccer via Stella Ragas