Women’s Soccer Reports for Preseason Training

Women’s Soccer Reports for Preseason Training

NEW YORK — The Columbia women’s soccer team has reported to campus to begin its preparations for the 2021 season. The Lions held their first preseason training session Tuesday morning at Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium.

“Our staff has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of our team to Columbia and the return to the soccer pitch,” said head coach Tracey Bartholomew, who enters her eighth season leading the Lions. “To see these players dressed in Columbia Soccer gear walking the campus is invigorating. The energy and excitement is priceless – hearing the laughter, the stories and watching them connect with each other in person brings us such joy and fulfillment. It feels like we are bringing this team, this school and each other back to life.”

Columbia last competed in the fall of 2019 after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the Ivy League Presidents unanimously deciding to cancel competition for the 2020-21 academic year. For 20 of the 31 Lions, Tuesday marked their first collegiate training session.

“There is a lot to do in a short amount of time, but I know and believe that we will work diligently to get this program ready,” Bartholomew continued. “Our goals include re-establishing our standards of excellence on the field. We will continue to be focused on the details and find those small wins on a daily basis.”

Leading the team into the season are the senior quartet of Jessica Schildkraut, Colette Marciano, Mallaika Tomar and Kayla Lee. As sophomores in 2019, they helped the Lions go 9-3-4 overall with a 3-1-3 mark in Ivy League play. Columbia was one of the toughest teams to crack that season, allowing just six goals in seven league contests.

“We will be organized defensively and continue to be difficult to score on,” added Bartholomew. “Our attack will have many weapons and we must learn how to maximize each of them with the goal of improving our finishing. We will work to try to find the right playing system that matches the talent we have and work on our team cohesion and getting to know each other both on the field and off.”

Columbia’s season opener is now just 10 days away, Friday, August 27, when the team travels to Queens for a battle against St. John’s. The Lions head out to Long Island two days later to take on Stony Brook before hosting their home opener Thursday, September 2, against Hofstra.

For the latest on Columbia women’s soccer, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@CULionsWSOC), on Facebook (ColumbiaWSoccer), or by visiting GoColumbiaLions.com.

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