Columbia College lacrosse had made light work of its regular season entering its matchup with No. 7 Benedictine.
It had faced eight different oppositions and defeated them all. No team had walked off the field against the Cougars with anything better than a four-goal loss.
But after 15 minutes of play Wednesday, the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the first quarter, and for the first time this season, the third-ranked Cougars found themselves behind at the end of a period of play. A little over five minutes into the second quarter and they trailed by four — their biggest deficit of the season.
But they didn't stay down for long.
Columbia (9-0, 8-0 Kansas Collegiate Athletics Conference) mounted a second-half comeback to defeat Benedictine 7-6 and maintain its unbeaten record on the year.
Staring defeat in the face for the first time since Feb. 15, 2020, the Cougars turned to one of their most in-form players to rescue the result.
That player was Trevor Doren, who proved to be the Cougars' catalyst in the comeback.
After Tyler Parrot and JT Huez scored late in the first half to reduce the deficit to two, Doren got Columbia off to the start it needed in the second half by scoring four seconds after the return from the break. With 11 seconds remaining in the quarter, he scored again to tie the game.
With it all to play for in the final 15 minutes, the two programs played out the lowest-scoring quarter Columbia has been involved in all season.
Benedictine was one of two teams in the KCAC still able to catch the Cougars in the conference standings, but it needed a win to have any chance. It was a cagey affair, and the game winner came via the one goal scored in the quarter.
And Doren was the player to get it.
His fourth goal of the game, and 21st of the season, ended up being the Cougars' most important of the year thus far. They would face six more shots in the eight minutes that followed the goal, and 'keeper Ty Hosler would be forced into four game-saving stops, but they held on for the win.
With the victory, Columbia is now three games clear at the top of the KCAC standings and a win against bottom-ranked Morningside in its next matchup Sunday would clinch the regular-season title.