NEW YORK – After beginning the 2013 season with two road games in Omaha, Neb., the Columbia men’s soccer team (0-2-0) will host its first home game at the Columbia Soccer Stadium Saturday, Sep. 14, at 4 p.m. against the Iona Gaels.

Columbia headed out to the Midwest for a pair of games against Omaha-based teams last weekend, taking on No. 2 Creighton and Nebraska-Omaha. Going up against the Bluejays in front of 5,102 fans at Morrison Stadium Friday, Sep. 6, David Najem tied the game at 1-1 in the 55th minute for Columbia, but two Creighton goals in the final 13 minutes gave them a 3-1 victory.

On Sunday, Sep. 8, the Lions and Mavs were pitted in a scoreless defensive battle through the first 82 minutes of play until Vance Rookwood netted the games lone goal for UNO.

Sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Jackson has been very active early on this season. The Paradise Valley, Ariz. native has tallied 17 saves through two games this season, eight more than Harvard’s Brett Conrad who is second with nine stops. Jackson is currently on pace to stop 144 shots this season. The record for saves in a season is 103, set by Michael Testa in 2007.

Offensively, Najem and first-year Rhys Williams are tied for third in the Ivy League with six shots. Najem’s goal against Creighton was the first score the Bluejays allowed through their first three matches. Fellow senior Will Stamatis picked up the assist on the play.

0-2-0 Record 2-1-1
Ivy League Conference MAAC
0.50 Goals Per Game 1.75
.045 Shot % .159
1 Assists 6
David Najem (2 pts.) Leading Scorer Franklin Castellanos (7 pts.)
Kyle Jackson (0-2) (.810 save %) Goalkeeper Julian Petrello (2-1-1) (.864 save%)

The Gaels enter Saturday’s contest on a two-match win streak and a 2-1-1 overall record. Iona shutout Harvard last Friday in Boston, 3-0, and then followed that up with a 2-0 blanking of Albany at home Tuesday evening.

Julian Petrello earned credited for both shutouts in net for the Gaels, making a total of eight saves. Samuel Adjei found the back of the net in both victories for Iona and is tied with Franklin Castellanos for the team lead with two tallies. Castellanos, a senior from Dover, N.J., is also tied with Ignacio Maganto with a team-best three assists. Maganto racked up four points with a goal and two helpers in the win over Harvard en route to MAAC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Columbia holds a 2-1-0 advantage over the Gaels in three meetings. The teams last met in 2006 with the Lions taking a 4-2 decision on the road. Prior to that meeting, Iona captured a 1-0 victory in 1997 at home, while Columbia took the first meeting in the series in 1996 by a score of 4-0 at the Columbia Soccer Stadium.