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The Football home opener will be against Harvard on Saturday September 21. A complete schedule of all Ivy League Football games can be found at the Ivy League Home Page.
The Women's Soccer Team will play its next home game Sunday September 15 at 11:00 AM against Manhattan College.
Men's Soccer will have its next home game against St. Francis on Wednesday September 18 at 7:00 PM.
Field Hockey will play its next home game on Friday September 20 at 1:00 PM against Sienna.

Where to Find It

The Athletic Department Web and the Men's Cross Country Team page are accessible on the Extracurricular page of ColumbiaWeb.

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Go Lions! Fall Sports Preview

Compiled by Columbia Athletic Communications

Field Hockey

  As the fall athletic season dawns at Columbia, so does a new fall sport. Women's field hockey makes its debut as a full-fledged varsity this year, after a season as a club varsity. They will play a partial Ivy schedule this year, including national power Penn.

  Coach Susan Eichner, who also coached the club varsity, and previously was the head coach at Kenyon, has the task of combining her best athletes from last season with 15 first-year students she recruited.

  Her top returnees include seniors Carrie Franklin (B) and Jessica Brewer (E); the most-promising newcomers include Antoinette Allen (C) and Whitney Weems (C).


Rory Wilfork
All-East Linebacker Rory Wilfork.

  Ray Tellier's squad was hit hard by graduation, losing 14 starters, but the Lions' eighth-year coach has more than 30 letter winners returning as he continues the Lions' march up the Ivy League ladder. He hopes to bounce back from last season's 3-6-1 record, and knows Dartmouth is the team to beat in Hanover Nov. 9.

  Their first home game is Sept. 21 against Harvard.

The defense boasts several impressive returnees, including All-East linebacker and co-captain Rory Wilfork, the first Columbia player to serve as captain in two straight seasons since Walter Koppisch in 1923.

  Fellow senior Brian Gillen returns at middle linebacker, and a trio of senior defensive ends -- co-captain Marcellus Wiley, Mike Jennings, and Charlie Bettinelli -- buttress the line. Juniors Roy Hanks and Joe Cormier are other veterans, both in the defensive backfield.

  The offense will be led by two other senior captains, tight end Ryan Gabriele and tackle Randy Murff. Murff and senior center Austin Milliken provide the experience on a young offensive line. Senior David Ramirez, who had 47 receptions last season, returns to lead the wide receivers, while sophomore tailback Jason Bivens and junior quarterback Bobby Thomason highlight the offensive backfield.

Men's Soccer

Jeff Traola
Defender Jeff Traola (Right).

  Coach Dieter Ficken describes this year's team as one of the most closely-knit he's seen in his 18 years as a head coach. Even in the Ivy League, which is competitive in soccer, Columbia should emerge as a top team among Brown, Prince-ton, Harvard and Cornell.

  The Lions will rely on one of the nation's top defensive units in goalkeepers Matt Napoleon (Soccer America pre-season All-Ivy; 0.91 goals against average in 1995) and Steve Viscovich, and backs Dennis Bohn and Jeff Traola (Soccer America pre-season All-Ivy;1994 Ivy Rookie of the Year).

  This crew (minus senior captain Bohn, who was injured) shut out opponents for the final 516 minutes of the 1995 season en route to a 9-8 record. Midfielders Greg Smalling and Rino Matarazzo are excellent playmakers, and senior Michael Payne has twice earned honorable mention All-Ivy at striker.

Women's Soccer

Dana Cassara
All-Time Single Season Scoring Leader Dana Cassara.

  With the return of 12 letterwinners and the addition of first-rate freshmen, this could be the breakthrough year for Head Coach Kevin McCarthy's team, which equalled its highest ever number of victories last year (6) and allowed the fewest goals.

  "This could be the most talented team ever to take the field for Columbia," McCarthy notes. The toughest match should be against Harvard, undefeated in the league for two years.

  Junior Dana Cassara (C), the Lions' all-time single-season scoring leader, sophomore Imma Mazzella (C) and freshman Kriszen Williams (C) give the Lions a potent scoring threat. At midfield, sophomore Tosh Forde (C) was honorable mention All-Ivy as a freshman and will be the machine that makes the team go, according to McCarthy.

  In the backfield, junior Liz Cheung (C) was an All-Ivy selection in 1995, and sophomore Katie Gifford (C) showed all-league potential.

  In the goal, the Lions will rely on freshman Ali Ahearn, who was one of the top goalkeeper prospects in the East.

Men's Cross Country

  Naturally, a team losing an athlete of the caliber of All-America and Olympic Trials semi-finalist Casey O'Shea `96 has cause for some concern. However, a very good freshman class coupled with a solid corps of returning runners could mean success for the Lions, who look to ascend the Heptag-onal ranks after finishing 8th last year.

  Senior Anthony Anderson one of Columbia athletics' most-improved student-athletes last year, and Tom Kloos and Amerigo Rossi lead a group of talented sophomores. Fresh-men Ray Biersbach and Jason Gibbons could crack into the varsity seven immediately.

Women's Cross Country

  The `96 Light Blue harriers may be the surprise of the Heptagonal conference. They hope to finish as high as 6th, with the addition of several very good first-year runners. Senior Martina Brosnahan (B), the school record-holder at 5,000 meters indoors, could rank among the elite distance runners in the Ivy League if she remains healthy. Senior Rebecca Begley (B) and junior Abby Lorge (C) bring experience to the squad. Sarika Doshi (C), Marissa Hurwitz (C) and Tanya Yokum (C) each have varsity potential as first-years.


Publishers Photo
Volleyball Standouts Cheryl Bucci & Kristi Overton.

  "Loaded with potential" is one way to describe this season's volleyball team. An incoming class of five joins a nucleus of two seniors, one junior and seven sophomores.

  They expect to improve last year's record of 8-19 with the Lions middle blocker Kristie Overton (C) and Cheryl Bucci (C), one of the top setters in the league last year. Bucci led the team in assists last season (867) and assists per game (8.028).

  "The attitude of our returning players is very intense, and they are fired up," says Head Coach Carolyn Elwood. "They believe they can be a top contender in the conference."

Columbia University Record -- September 13, 1996 -- Vol. 22, No. 2

Record Photo of Bucci & Overton By Arthur Frank.
Record Photos of Traola, Cassara and Wilfork By Tomasso DeRosa.