Three up, three down: football overshadows all other sports
Despite strong performances by many of Columbia’s teams, the overall attitude to this Fall season has been negative. Truthfully, football is the only team that is performing so (unexpectedly) badly. Since, however, we live in a football dominated culture, all other sports are taking a backseat. Men’s soccer had an outstanding performance this weekend, giving them a real shot at a title, while other teams saw their hopes dwindle away. Read after the jump, to see who’s up and who’s down.Three Up:
1. Men’s Soccer—This weekend was huge for a Light Blue team (5-6-1, 2-1 Ivy) that just lost a heartbreaker to Penn the previous weekend. The team traveled to Princeton (3-8-1, 0-3 Ivy) to take on the undefeated Ivy League champs from a season ago. The Light Blue came out quickly, going up 1-0 in the early minutes. Princeton followed suit 27 minutes later with an equalizer, and the game was tied up going into the 89th minute. At that point, junior forward Will Stamatis continued the heroics we have seen from him all season, and scored a goal with just under two minutes remaining. The Lions won the match, 2-1, and now sit in a three way tie for second place. They sit beneath undefeated Cornell in the standings, and their final game of the season will be Saturday, Nov. 12 at Cornell. Title implications? Possibly!
2. Golf—Both the men and women’s golf teams competed this past weekend, and both continued the success they’ve had in the past. For the women, it was the familiar face of sophomore phenom Michelle Piyapattra who finished on the top of the leaderboard at the Harvard Invitational, which featured seven out of the eight Ivy teams. Piyapattra’s score was six strokes better than the next best opponent, and the team as a whole finished second. The men also found success this weekend as they competed in The Classic at Shelter Harbor. As a team, the Lions finished in third, but two outstanding performers—junior Michael Yiu and sophomore Andrew Kim—finished in a tie for fourth place as well.
3. Field Hockey—This team currently stands in a five-way tie for first place in the crowded Ivy standings. At 6-6 (3-1 Ivy), the team has won where it counts, and that is in league play. The Lions’ fate rests in their own hands at this point, and they must win all their remaining games if they hope to win the title. These are one of the few teams competing for a legitimate shot at the title at this stage of the season.
1. Volleyball—They’re certainly not out of title contention, but this weekend certainly did put a damper in what was shaping up to be a pretty magical season for volleyball (11-6, 5-2 Ivy). This weekend featured matchups at Dartmouth and Harvard. Both teams were certainly not at the bottom of the league, but they were not at the same level as Columbia. After going down 2-0 at Dartmouth, the team mounted another comeback to take the match by a score of 3-2. Less than 24 hours later, the team was demolished at Harvard, dropping the match in three straight sets. This team certainly has a flare for the dramatic, but if they hope to contend, they must get rid of blips like the 3-0 shutout against Harvard.
2. Women’s Soccer—Despite being in the middle of a four-game losing streak, this team (4-9, 2-2 Ivy) is still middling. Why? Two reasons: first, only two of the losses have been within the Ivy League, so the Lions still have an outside shot of winning the league. Second, no team in a tie for fourth place in the league should be in the same stratosphere as the 0-5 football team. This weekend was especially heartbreaking, as the team was unable to do much against at Princeton. The Tiger’s defense suffocated the Lions, while the Princeton offense scored four goals. The final score was 4-1, and the Lions were sent home with disappointment.
One ‘not as bad as last week, but still pretty damn far down’
1. Football—It’s hard to imagine a team filled with talent that has improved each week would still be winless, but that’s Columbia football for you. There were certainly positive things to take away from Columbia’s (0-5, 0-2 Ivy) 20-27 loss to reigning champion Penn (3-2, 2-0 Ivy), but when all was said and done, it was just more of the same for the Lions. Coaching errors and silly mental mistakes by veteran players (and a few questionable calls) were all it took to keep Columbia from ending Penn’s 16-game (now 17) Ivy League winning streak and get their first win. Columbia has five shots to make it right—nobody wants to see a team like this go 0-10.
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