The women’s soccer team recorded its first Ivy League points of the season Saturday, tying Columbia 3-3. The game was characterized by missed opportunities, costly defensive breakdowns and some disputed calls down the stretch. Princeton (5-4-4 overall, 0-3-1 Ivy League) outshot the Lions (7-4-3, 0-2-2 Ivy League) 27-5, including 7-0 in overtime, but the Lions made their shots matter, putting all five on goal.
“We played well — we outshot Columbia 27-5, but we gave up soft goals,” head coach Julie Shackford said. “All we needed was one lucky bounce, but nothing has come easy for us this season.”
Junior forward Lauren Lazo and freshman forward Tyler Lussi led the Tigers with six and seven shots, respectively. Four of Lussi’s were on goal, but none found the back of the net.
Princeton went down early when Beverly Leon netted a goal in the third minute off a swift counterattack. The Tigers were not rattled, though, as they responded by dominating possession and creating opportunities. Junior midfielder Melissa Downey evened the game in the 12th minute, receiving a pass from Lazo in the box, avoiding the goalie and tapping the ball into the open net.
Less than three minutes later, junior midfielder Jessica Haley gave Princeton the lead. Lussi won the ball in Columbia territory and passed it to Lazo on the right wing. Lazo served up a well-placed cross, which Haley headed past Lions keeper Allison Spencer.
Princeton kept the pressure on, and Lazo was rewarded with her fourth goal of the season and first in over a month. Unassisted, she worked her way through the defense and placed the ball inside the left post. The rest of the half saw three more shots for Princeton to none for Columbia.
Less than six minutes into the second half, Columbia made it a one-goal game when Alexa Yow scored. Kimmy Bettinger sent the ball downfield and through Princeton’s backline, where Yow won it, evaded junior goalkeeper Darcy Hargadon and passed it into the open net. Princeton very nearly responded three minutes later as a corner kick led to a scrum in the box and what appeared to be Lazo’s second goal of the game, but the officials called it offside.
Princeton dominated play for the next 20 minutes, recording eight shots and barely allowing the Lions to control the ball past midfield. In the 78th minute, a Columbia corner kick led to a tangle up in the box and referee Richie Sanchez awarded the Lions a penalty kick, much to the chagrin of the Roberts Stadium crowd. Hargadon guessed wrong, and Leon netted her second of the afternoon to tie the game at three.
Senior midfielder Gabriella Guzman mustered a shot a couple minutes later following a Princeton free kick, but nothing came of it and 10 minutes later the horn sounded to end regulation.
Both teams had chances in the first overtime period, with two shots for Princeton and two corners for Columbia, but neither could break the deadlock.
The Tigers dominated the second overtime, recording five shots and barely allowing Columbia possession. In the 107th minute, freshman defender Haley Chow hit the crossbar from close range. A minute later Spencer deflected a Lussi shot in front of the goal, but the resulting attempt went feebly off to the right. The final two minutes ticked away and the Tigers had to settle for a tie.
“We needed to be more mature in transition today,” Shackford said after the game. “We lost eight seniors last year, so we’re a young team. We weren’t communicating well, which is something that comes with experience. Hopefully we can finish out the season with some Ivy wins and gain some experience for next year.”
Princeton plays three times over fall break, including league matchups at first-place Harvard and home against Cornell.