Columbia Cougars Defeat Millburn Millers 2-1
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 • 5:26am
MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Less than 24 hours after seeing a two goal lead disappear in a 3-2 loss to Montclair Kimberley, the Columbia High School Cougars defeated rival Millburn 2-1 on Tuesday at Underhill Park's Lynn Y. Profeta Field.
The Cougars improve to 4-13-1, while the Millers drop to 5-9-1 with one week remaining before the start of state tournament play.
"It's a big rival and a big win," Columbia head coach Sherif Elzein said. "We had senior night last night and the girls worked so hard. They had a 2-0 lead. They lost their lead and lost in the last minute of the game on a free kick. Today, they made up for it. They battled to the end. So many girls played in the game and played their hearts out."
Columbia opened the game with a goal in the 13th minute. Lena Ledesma was the benefactor of passes from Kenya Gaston and Sabrina Rodriguez.
After leading for the next 13 minutes, Millburn broke through with a goal from Izzy Gordon to tie the game at one.
Six minutes later, Columbia's Julia Binder found that back of the net off another Gaston pass to give the Cougars a 2-1 lead going into halftime.
In the second half, Columbia goal keeper Claire Durney kept the Cougars ahead, making four stops on would-be game-tying goals.
Millburn's Ali Tortora had the final chance to even the score. In extra time, she found a loss ball at the top of the 18-yard box but her shot sailed over the crossbar, securing the Columbia win.
"The defense plays with a lot of heart," Elzain said. "If you look at our shots against this season, our goalkeeper (Durney) has over 200 saves right now. She's one of the state leaders in saves."
Columbia next plays at Glen Ridge, as Millburn prepares for a match with Livingston. Both matches kick-off at 4 p.m. on Thursday.