NEW YORK – The Columbia men’s soccer team extended its win streak against Manhattan to eight with a 3-0 throttling of the Jaspers Wednesday night at the Columbia Soccer Stadium. First-year Rhys Williams scored the first goal for the Lions in the 50th minute, with senior David Najem and sophomore Antonio Matarazzo adding tallies later in the second period. Najem also assisted on another Columbia goal to finish with three points.
Columbia and Manhattan, separated by a short trip on the 1 train, played the initial 45 minutes scoreless. Manhattan’s Jake Scavetta had the most opportune scoring chances in the first stanza, firing shots in the 15th and 45th minutes that required Columbia defenders to step in front of before reaching the goal line, but the Jasper offense was shut down otherwise.
Henning Sauerbier and David Najem each challenged Manhattan goalkeeper Alex Coates McDowall with shots on goal, but both were turned away. At the half, Manhattan held a 7-3 advantage in shots, while the teams were tied with six fouls aside.
The Lions’ offense came alive in a big way in the second half, exploding for three goals. The first strike came in the 50th minute off the foot of newcomer Williams. Streaking into the penalty area from the left side, Williams received a brilliant pass from Najem that split the Jaspers’ back line. Williams made one small move to towards the net and placed his first collegiate goal inside the far post for the go-ahead tally.
Najem doubled the lead in the 62nd minute with his third goal of 2013. First-year Andrew Tinari laced a pass through two Manhattan defenders 40 yards out that Najem ran to and carried into the penalty area where he directed the ball inside the right post, around the outstretched hand of Coates McDowall. Najem’s three goals in just the first four games this season ties his personal season-best he set in his rookie campaign.
Antonio Matarazzo provided the third Lions’ goal in the final minute of regulation, maintaining possession of the play for an extended time before beating Coates McDowall. The sophomore now has two tallies this season.
Wednesday marked the first time since September 28, 2010 that Columbia has scored three times in a game. The Lions knocked off Delaware that night three seasons ago by a score of 3-0.
Columbia’s best defense in the second half was its offense, as Manhattan managed just four shots, none of which landed on goal. Columbia goalkeeper Kyle Jackson made four first half saves, and it would be all he needed to register his first shutout of the season.
Columbia will head out on the road to face Northeastern on Saturday, Sep. 21 in Boston. Kick-off in Massachusetts is set for 6 p.m.