BROOKLINE, Mass. – Seniors David Najem and Will Stamatis scored Saturday night, as the Columbia men’s soccer team improved to 3-2 on the year with a 2-1 victory over Northeastern (2-3-2) at Parsons Field.
Najem got the Lions going early on with a tally in the opening ten minutes of action. After fielding a pass from first-year Andrew Tinari, Najem touched a nice chip shot over the Northeastern keeper into the right side of the net to give Columbia a 1-0 lead. The goal was Najem’s fourth of the season, setting a new season-high record for the senior, while the assist was Tinari’s second of his rookie campaign.
The next 20 minutes of gameplay passed without a scoring opportunity for either side, until the 34th minute when Northeastern provided the equalizer. Dante Marini notched his second goal of the year with a shot from 20 yards out that slipped in the left post. Connor Alexander picked up the assist on the play.
Northeastern recorded the only shot attempt the remainder of the half, a header in the final minute that went wide. The Huskies ended the half with a 5-1 shot advantage and a 4-2 lead in corner attempts, but the score was even at 1-1.
Similar to the first half, Columbia came out attacking the Northeastern defense in the second period. Najem fired his second shot of the game on net in the 53rd minute, but Dylan Faber was there to turn it away for Northeastern. Bryce Terrill and Tinari followed with shots of their own, but it was not until the 59th minute that Columbia broke through.
David Westlake maneuvered his way through the left side of the defense and fired a shot on net that Faber turned away, but Will Stamatis was there to jam home the rebound for what would turn out to be the game-winning goal. The goal was Stamatis’ first of his senior year, while Westlake picked up his first point of the year with the assist.
Northeastern continued to battle throughout the remainder of the half, but the Columbia defense was able to stave off each of the Huskies attempts. Kyle Jackson came up with three saves in the half, including a diving stop in the 61st minute on a charging Northeastern forward.
The Lions return home Wednesday night to host LIU Brooklyn at the Columbia Soccer Stadium. Kick-off between the Lions and Blackbirds is slated for 7 p.m.