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Women's Soccer Opens Season With A Pair This Weekend

NEW YORK – Kickoff of the 2018 Columbia women's soccer season takes place this Friday, when the Lions travel to Drexel for a 5 p.m. match with the Dragons. On Sunday, the first home match of the season gets under way at 2 p.m., as Columbia battles Fordham on ESPN+. ABOUT THE LIONS After a 9-5-2 season last year in which Columbia finished second in the Ivy League, the Lions return eight starts including a goalkeeper, as well as 76 percent of their scoring from 2017. Senior captains Emma Anderson, Reilly Lucas, and Sophie Whitehouse all give the squad experience at different parts of the pitch. Anderson steps in having scored the most goals among returners from a season ago, netting eight scores in 16 starts. The Bethesda, Maryland, product also added two assists a season ago, giving her 18 points as well as second team All-Ivy League honors. With 20 career goals, Anderson is the eighth leading scorer in program history, and has a chance to challenge Tosh Forde's career record of 30 goals. For Lucas, 44 career caps and 29 starts give the Lions the experience they need on the back line. The Freeport, New York, native started 16 contests last year as part of a back line that aided in nine shutouts, six of which came in Ivy League play, earning her honorable mention All-Ivy accolades. In 2016, Lucas helped Columbia rank 22nd nationally in goals against average at 0.706. In net, Whitehouse is coming off of a near school-record season in 2017, stopping .840 percent of the shots she faced, and posting a goals against average of 0.87, en route to earning second team All-Ivy League honors. The Washington D.C. native enters the year with nine career clean sheets. Aside from the senior captains, five other players started at least 50 percent of the games last season. On the front line, Emily Koe scored 13 points from five goals and three assists last year, while Amaris Hemmings was speedy on the wing with two goals and five assists. Cayla Davis returns in the midfield after starting all 16 matches, equaling the starts by defenders Taylor Penn and Amalya Johnson.

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