Next week, the lacrosse team (1-2, 0-2 Ivy) will journey cross-country to take on the University of Southern California (1-2) and Fresno State (1-5) before returning to the East Coast for a matchup with Ivy rival Dartmouth (3-2, 0-1 Ivy).
The Lions will take with them memories of a 13-6 loss at the hands of Cornell. A 7-0 run by the Big Red during the game seemed to knock the wind out of the Light Blue.
But the loss may have been the Lions’ best defensive performance, according to head coach Liz Kittleman Jackson.
“Cornell had ball for 39 of 60 minutes,” she said. “The fact that our defense held a good team to 13 goals was really impressive.”
The offense, too, found a new stride. In past games, the Lions had struggled in at attack, relying on midfielders—primarily senior Paige Cuscovitch—for the majority of their goals. The Light Blue attack was more balanced in Ithaca, though—sophomore attacker Kate Murphy netted a hat trick and junior attacker Sarah Greenberg also found a way to score.
“I’m really happy to see the attack embrace their role and improve from the Brown game to the Cornell game,” Kittleman Jackson said. “Now we need them to come together as a cohesive unit—and they certainly have the potential to be a powerful offense if they work together.”
Kittleman Jackson stressed the importance of giving the defense time to catch its breath moving forward, which includes increasing success on clears and draws.
“When we aren’t doing what we need to do in transition, that trickles down into the defensive end,” Kittleman Jackson said.
Another bright spot is in the play of first-year midfielder Taylor Quinn, who has five goals on the season. Calling Quinn “one of the hardest-working athletes” she’s ever coached, Kittleman Jackson emphasized Quinn’s contributions to the team, adding that they extend off the field as well.
“She’s the first one into the locker room and the last to leave. She does extra work on her own. She watches video, asks question,” Kittleman Jackson said. “She puts a ton of time into her game. That’s what separates her.”
While the Lions have found moments of success, Kittleman Jackson said they haven’t forgotten the bigger picture.
“We’re not going for moral victories this year,” she said. “We’re going for victories.”
Columbia plays USC on Monday, Fresno State on Wednesday, and Dartmouth on the following Saturday.