In a seesaw contest in New Jersey, women’s soccer rallied back after losing its early lead to tie Princeton 3-3, forcing a double overtime for the fifth time this season and keeping both teams winless in the Ivy League.
Despite playing on the road, the Light Blue (7-4-3, 0-2-2 Ivy) seemed more comfortable at the start than the hosting Tigers (5-4-4, 0-3-1 Ivy). Senior midfielder Beverly Leon recovered senior midfielder Natalie Melo’s blocked shot and put it in the back of the net just three minutes in for a 1-0 lead.
From then on, the Tigers pounced. For the game, they managed 27 shots to just five for Columbia. Three different Princeton players got on the board during a three-goal run in a 12-minute stretch in the first half.
First-year goalkeeper Allison Spencer found herself under pressure throughout the game but made nine saves to keep Princeton at bay and give the Lions a chance to get back in the game.
Coming out after halftime with a two-goal deficit, the Light Blue did just that. Junior Alexa Yow got her fourth goal of the season five minutes after the break. Three saves and another block by the Columbia defense bought just enough time for the offense to continue the comeback.
After a Princeton penalty, Leon got another shot into the back of the net with 13 minutes left in regulation to tie the game.
In overtime, the Light Blue defense continued to find itself under pressure as the Tigers attempted eight shots on goal to none for Columbia. But fortune shone on Spencer, who within a minute had one bounce off the crossbar before she managed to haul in the final one and help her squad escape for a 3-3 tie.
While the result is not ideal for a team still hoping to get its first conference win, it was the first sign of the Lions’ explosive offense against an Ivy League opponent. If offensive sparkplugs Melo, Yow, and Leon can continue to fight back from deficits as they have in their past two games, the team will be in good position to finish its last three Ivy matches strong.
The Lions will take the field in Hanover to face off against Dartmouth next weekend for the last road matchup of the season.