NEW YORK, N.Y. – In the city that never sleeps, it should come as no surprise that the decisive goal in VCU Field Hockey's game on Sunday came late in the contest.

The Rams allowed a goal in the 65th minute to Columbia and suffered a 2-1 loss in non-conference action on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

"The game today was a hard fought, physical match for both sides," Head Coach Kelly McQuade said. "We need to be able to execute our set plays better and capitalize on the opportunities we are presented with throughout our games."

It was a back-and-forth battle throughout, but the Lions jumped out to an early lead thanks Paige Simmons' third goal of the year in the sixth minute. Simmons tipped in a goal off a corner set up by Bridget DeSandis and Desi Scherf.

Both defenses would stifle any scoring opportunities with the teams combining for nine first-half corners, but the score remained just 1-0 at the half.

Junior Haley McBee continued her hot scoring streak, finding the back of the cage in the 54th minute to even the score at 1-1. The Stafford, Va. native has scored three goals in the past two games.

Columbia would land the decisive blow with just over five minutes left in the contest when Simmons set up Leti Freaney for her fourth goal of the year.

Both teams attacked the circle, leading to 19 total corners, 10 for Columbia and nine for the Black & Gold.

"As coaches, we're looking to have a controlled sense of urgency, a lot of heart and a lot of pride headed into our match-up against a tough William & Mary squad next weekend," McQuade said.

The Rams return to CAA action next Friday when they head to Williamsburg to take on the Tribe in a 7 p.m. contest.