NEW YORK – The Columbia men’s soccer team outshot Harvard 13-4 in the second half Saturday night at the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium, but the Crimson was able to escape with a 2-0 win with a pair of goals separated by two minutes in the second period.
The first half proved to be played out primarily within the middle third of the field, as the teams combined for just seven shots. Of those attempts, the Crimson placed two on net, while the Lions only challenged the opposing goalkeeper once.
Henning Sauerbier had the Lions best chance, ripping at shot from 22 yards out that Evan Mendez stepped in front of. Early in the half, Harvard had two scoring chances, but Kyle Jackson came up with one stop, while Bryce Terrill and Jack Gagné helped create a team save to keep the game even at 0-0.
The intensity drastically turned upwards in the opening minutes of the second half as the physical level of play continued to rise. Harvard’s Kevin Harrington broke the scoring drought with his third goal of season when he scored off a rebound in the 51st minute.
The fouls continued to mount on each side following the goal, but Columbia took the biggest hit when Anton Wesener was whistled less than a minute later for a hard foul that led to him being issued a red card. With the Lions down a man, Harvard added a second goal when Matt Sheeleigh scored off a corner kick from Ross Friedman.
Columbia’s offense awoke with two scoring opportunities from a pair of first-years moments later. Nicholas Pappacena fired a direct shot from 15 yards out that Mendez got just enough to knock into the crossbar. That attempt was followed by Rhys Williams narrowly missing the top right corner with a laser of a shot from the top of the penalty area.
Williams found himself in solid position to score on two more in the following minutes, both from the right side, but he missed wide on the first attempt before his second shot eased over the crossbar. Sophomore Antonio Matarazzo was next up with a scoring chance for Columbia, but his left-footed shot off a free kick was stopped by Mendez.
Matarazzo and Williams each had another shot as the half began to expire, but the Crimson held off the late charge to capture the 2-0 win.
Columbia closes out the 2013 regular season with a trip to Ithaca, N.Y. next Saturday, Nov. 16 to take on Cornell.